The now single-track train track seen going Northbound passing Wilcox Street with the recently removed tracks on the right, on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Forest Park, Ill. | ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

For well over 100 years, there has been double main line of railroad tracks running through Forest Park. The right-of-way is owned and operated by the CSX Railroad and it runs along the south side of the Eisenhower Expressway. It then curves north to cross Des Plaines Avenue on a trestle and continues north into River Forest. Last week, the CSX began retiring one of the tracks that runs through Forest Park.

Amanda De Cesare, who manages public projects for the CSX out of their office in Kentucky, confirmed this change. She then referred the Review to Cindy Schild, of CSX public affairs. Schild issued the following statement, “CSX is removing a secondary rail line in Forest Park, IL because it is a double main line and we are converting it to a single main line. Our records indicate that the track existed since at least the 1890s.”

When asked if this rail line could possibly be converted to a bike path, as part of the CSX Rails-to-Trails program, Schild replied, “This is not a good candidate for conversion to a trail due to its proximity to active railroad operations. For the safety of employees and the community, CSX can only consider conversion of rail lines to trails if the property in question is not adjacent to railroad operations.”

John Rice

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.