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Frank Patton: Not your average rail baron

Frank Patton had his light bulb moment sitting around Briar Ridge Country Club seven years ago discussing a 50-mile truck bypass for Chicago called the Illiana Expressway.

If state transportation planners thought a 50-mile toll road was the solution to Chicago truck congestion, why couldn’t the same be done for railroads?

So he turned to his friend Ed Paesel, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.

“And I looked at Ed Paesel and said, ‘Does this make any sense?’ And Ed looked at me and he smiled and he said, ‘It makes all the sense in the world.’ And that’s when it started…” Please click here to read Keith Benman’s story in the Times.

How to comment on Great Lakes Basin Rail Line

The public can get information and submit comments on the Great Lakes Basin Rail Line at an online public scoping meeting to be presented by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis from 1 to 3:30 p.m. (Central Time) Wednesday. To register to attend this online public scoping meeting go to

The public can also file comments until June 15 by any of the following means:

• Electronically (e-filing): Go to

If you encounter difficulties with the e-filing process, you can call (202) 245-0350.

• By Mail: You can send written comments to Dave Navecky, OEA’s Project Manager for the Environmental Impact Statement, at: Dave Navecky Surface Transportation Board Docket No. FD 35952 395 E Street SW Washington, D.C. 20423-0001

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