A study released by Chicago Metropolis 2020 projected the pending purchase of the EJ&E Railway by the Canadian National Railway (CN) would create 649 new jobs in the region with total new annual salaries of $39 million and a growth in annual sales in the region of more than $160 million.
CN’s plan to divert freight trains to a suburban rail line would ease the freight traffic gridlock in northeastern Illinois and spur a growth of $267 million in the nation's Gross Domestic Product, including more than $60 million in the Chicago region's Gross Regional Product.
Chicago Metropolis 2020, a business-based civic organization, commissioned the independent economic benefits study of the EJ&E transfer, which awaits a decision by the Surface Transportation Board.
The study was conducted by the Economic Development Research Group, a Boston consulting firm using state-of-the-art tools to evaluate the economic impact of infrastructure projects, and Carl Martland, a freight consultant and senior research associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The complete study is available at www.chicagometropolis2020.org.