The Program | The Projects | Union Station | 16th Street Connector | O'Hare Airport | Costs | The Structure

The St. Charles Air Line is an elevated rail right-of-way that provides the only east-west rail connection in downtown Chicago. The line spans about eight-tenths of a mile a block north of 16th Street between the Chicago River and the Metra Electric line west of Lake Shore Drive.

This critical piece of infrastructure provides the essential link between the southern section of CrossRail Chicago and the northern section. Rebuilding the St. Charles Air Line with two or three electrified tracks and direct access to Union Station would be a much more cost-effective option than tunneling under the city.

The new "16th Street Connector" would make possible a single-seat trip from O'Hare to McCormick Place, or Homewood to Hoffman Estates, or Milwaukee to Grand Rapids.