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South Shore Line preparing for Hammond station move, as West Lake Corridor takes shape

South Shore Line

The South Shore Line plans to move its Hammond station this summer, as the West Lake Corridor branch continues to take shape. The current station at Hohman Avenue will be replaced by a new Gateway Station three blocks west.

"That's where the West Lake service, which is coming from the south, will come up to North Hammond, and that's where it will meet our mainline service for a dual station," Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) President Mike Noland told the NICTD board last week.

He expects that switch to happen in late June or early July.

That will eventually free up the current station and its parking lots for redevelopment. Plans created for the area's transit development district envision commercial development near the Hohman Avenue station house, along with multi-family residential or offices where the parking lots are now. But Noland said no final decisions have been made.

"There's some operational uses that we still likely could have at that station, but there could also be a commercial retail opportunity there, as well," Noland explained.

While the goal of the West Lake Corridor is to make it easier for Region residents to get to downtown Chicago, it could also open opportunities for reverse commuting. NICTD board member and Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas noted that the proliferation of medical facilities in the Munster area could generate ridership. Noland envisioned the railroad potentially running shuttle buses to a proposed medical campus at the former Lansing Country Club.

"To bring folks out from Chicago or, for that matter, from anywhere on our system — take a train down to the Gateway Station and hop onto a West Lake [train]."

Overall, Noland said the West Lake Corridor is about 70-percent complete and is still on track to open in May of 2025. One major sticking point is ongoing negotiations with CSX over a vehicular underpass at Main Street. That would let cars get to the planned parking lot west of the tracks, at the future Munster/Dyer station.

Michael Gallenberger is a news reporter and producer that hosts All Things Considered on 89.1 FM | Lakeshore Public Media.