On July 5th the Surface Transportation told Great Lakes Basin Transportation that they must submit alternative route options by Aug. 29 so that the Office of Environmental Analysis can issue a final scope of study for the environmental impact statement.
In 2011 Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. began developing plans for constructing a new rail line that would extend approximately 278 miles from southern Wisconsin, through Illinois, to northwestern Indiana. According to the GLBT this project would greatly reduce interchange times through the Chicago hub. Additional information and the route map is on their website.
The GLBT expects Federal environmental impact studies to require 2 years. On March 15, 2016 the STB issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Notice of Availability of the Draft Scope of Study for the Environmental Impact Statement; Notice of Scoping Meetings; and Request for Comments on Draft Scope of Study. The initial scoping comment period was to end on May 16, 2016 but it was extended to June 15th and then again to July 15th.