No plans for CN traffic, but track still 'active'

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By Bob Uphues

Riverside-Brookfield Landmark Editor

It's been years since trains have rumbled through River Forest along the elevated Canadian National rail line, which enters the village at Thatcher Avenue just south of Division Street and then arcs south between Forest and Park avenues until it exits at Madison Street.

But after some recent social media chatter suggesting that CN was going to restart train traffic on that line, River Forest officials moved on Oct. 10 to clarify the railroad's position on use of those tracks and the potential for future traffic by posting a statement on the village's website.

According to Village Administrator Eric Palm, the railroad's position on the line hasn't changed. The railroad doesn't have plans to restart traffic there, but it has been and remains an active railroad line capable of handling traffic in the future.

"Canadian National has stated that they have no plans to resume daily train operation through River Forest," the village's statement noted. "However, CN says it is possible that a train could operate on those tracks on any given day, and the track remains a viable option for Canadian National to route trains over should it become necessary."

Palm said rumors of the railroad starting up traffic have been around since he was appointed village administrator seven years ago. The village sought to clarify the status of the line in light of the social media posts and an email Palm received recently from a local Realtor. Sellers and prospective homebuyers can be wary of how activity on that track might impact property values.

In short, Palm said, "It's buyer beware."

While the CN has avoided using that rail line, "tomorrow there could be a train running through your backyard."

Bob Uphues

Email: Twitter: @RBLandmark

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Terry Falduto  

Posted: October 19th, 2017 3:33 PM

When I worked in Oak Park in the mid-1990s I remember seeing a few times trains snaking through River Forest, right through the neighborhood at grade level on Iowa, Augusta, Forest streets. Quite the surprise the first couple times.

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