SOUTH BEND — St. Joseph County has planned a study to explore building a rail line that would branch from the South Shore Line to the west side of South Bend International Airport, where a rail-to-air logistics park is being planned.
The $119,000 study, approved Wednesday by the county Redevelopment Commission, calls for determining the cost of different options for the line and how it would affect neighborhoods and roads.
The county could decide to build a line that would serve freight trains only, or one that would be used by freight and passenger trains.
On Jan. 15, the county Board of Commissioners will consider final approval for the 90-day study, which would be done by South Bend engineering firm DLZ Inc.
South Shore Line tracks now make a loop around the east side of the airport, but several minutes would be cut from the South Bend-to-Chicago trip if tracks took a shorter route by approaching from the west.
Although South Bend is considering a potential train station downtown, which could result in there being no more station at the airport, the county remains committed to realigning the tracks.