CHESTERTON – The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is releasing revised details of the $420 million Double Track project, which intends to improve commuter times on the South Shore Line between Gary and Michigan City.

Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report leaders from NICTD, which operates the South Shore Line, presented the latest project plans to about 450 people during a virtual update.

Construction of the Double Track project is expected to begin next year.

The paper said the project could reduce travel time between Chicago and Michigan City from one hour 41 minutes to one hour 7 minutes, a half hour savings for commuter passengers who live in northwest Indiana but work in downtown Chicago.

NICTD President and General Manager Mike Noland says the Double Track and West Lake Corridor projects are projected to attract more than $2 billion in private investment near the rail lines over the next 20 years.

The West Lake Corridor would run nine miles from the South Shore Line in Hammond to the Munster-Dyer town line and include four new stations.

Some of the biggest changes will be in Michigan City where plans call for the elimination of multiple street grade crossings.

In addition to the second set of tracks to Michigan City, train speeds will be increased by skipping some stations along the way, said Noland.