Metra calls a halt on its new rail car plan

(CHICAGO) The Metra commuter rail agency serving the Chicago area is no longer looking for a vendor to build nearly 370 new cars because of a shortfall in state funds.

Metra officials say Illinois officials have put on hold more than $300 million in funding previously budgeted for the agency’s capital program. In addition the state doesn’t have a capital plan that would spell out how much money the agency would get in the coming years.

The agency has made modernizing its rolling stock a priority because some cars are about 60 years old.

Metra officials have said they need $11.7 billion in capital funding over the next 10 years to install a federally mandated computerized system to prevent train collisions and other improvements in addition to new rail cars.

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