Upcoming Freight Train Symposium – News Release

Upcoming Freight Train Symposium – News Release

For Immediate Release – September 10, 2017

The Village of Bannockburn, along with the City of Lake Forest and the Villages of Deerfield, Glenview and Northbrook, are hosting a symposium to discuss The Future of Rail Freight Traffic on Wednesday, October 11, 7-8:30 p.m. at Melton Hall, Waybright Center at Trinity College, 2065 Half Day Road, Bannockburn, IL.  The program is open to the public and interested members of all involved communities are invited to attend.  There is no charge.

The topic of freight being transported by local rail lines has generated increasing attention in these and other Chicago area communities.  The operation of area freight yards, discussions on a freight-dedicated bypass rail line and more recently potential freight train impacts related to improvements outlined in the Chicago-Milwaukee Intercity Passenger Rail Corridor Environmental Assessment have raised concerns and questions by many residents living within proximity to rail infrastructure.

The October 11 symposium will address current freight issues, cargo being transported, safety and more, as well as what the Chicagoland area can expect in the future.  A short presentation, followed by a Q & A session, will be moderated by Joseph P. Schwieterman, Ph.D., School of Public Service and Director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.

The other panelists include Mark Malbrun, with Hatch Mott MacDonald, who is responsible for HMM’s Rail & Transit operations in the eastern United States.  Since 1975, Mr. Malbrun has led major North American projects in railroad and transit system planning, design, and construction. He has directed all forms of passenger rail infrastructure programs, including intercity passenger service, high-speed rail, multimodal terminals, light rail, rapid transit, commuter rail, and people movers.

Laura Wilkison, Executive Vice President of Metro Strategies, has been slated for the second panelist. She is involved in regional planning and policy, economic development and infrastructure initiatives, and leads outreach and communication activities for major projects and programs.  Prior to working with Metro Strategies, Ms. Wilkison worked for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE) in Chicago.

Audrey Wennick, with the Metropolitan Planning Council, will serve as the third panelist.  She directs MPC’s transportation efforts and leads the Regional Planning & Infrastructure Advisory Committee.  She also worked on benefit-cost analysis, grant writing, and advocacy for CREATE, IDOT and the Association of American Railroads to improve freight rail, passenger rail and highway operations through 70 projects in greater Chicago.

“With our rail-freight system being constantly improved and modernized, it is important for citizens to more fully understand the dynamics of this sector,” comments Mr. Schwieterman.  “Whether you are a commuter train rider, employed by a business that ships by rail, or just a resident living in a community that has a railroad, it is important to keep track of what is happening in this ever-changing sector.”

For more Information, contact:
Maria Lasday, Village Manager


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