Altenheim Line Planning Study

A “rails with trails” planning study is underway for North Lawndale’s CSX Altenheim railroad corridor through the coordination of the Chicago departments of Planning and Development (DPD), Transportation (CDOT), Housing (DOH), and the offices of Alds. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th) and Jason Ervin (28th).

The study’s focus is a two-mile section of CSX-owned railroad right-of-way between Kostner and California avenues, along with public and privately owned industrial, residential, and commercial properties on surrounding blocks.

Initiated in the summer of 2021, the study will create a community-driven framework plan to potentially add a trail and related amenities to the rail corridor. The long-term improvements would support a comprehensive vision for residential, commercial and industrial redevelopment within North Lawndale that is central to Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West initiative.

Located a block to the north and running parallel to Roosevelt Road, the rail corridor is approximately 100 feet wide and has active tracks. The study will consider a linear greenway with trails and other public amenities for unused portions of the corridor where tracks have been removed. The greenway would connect with the city’s boulevard system and provide off-street pedestrian and bike connections toward other neighborhood destinations. The tracks would continue to be used for current and future railroad needs.

The Altenheim line previously served the former Sears Roebuck headquarters complex and other North Lawndale industrial facilities, but today it is primarily used for rail car storage and as a connector to other rail lines, yards and junctions.

Trail design, amenities, funding, construction schedule, maintenance needs, ownership, and other details are yet to be determined.

Community Engagement

The planning team and local aldermen will co-host at least three community meetings to guide the framework process and gather feedback on potential recommendations for conceptual designs, access points, and implementation. The meetings begin in August 2021.

Altenheim Line Framework Kickoff Meeting
5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 12
Douglass Park Fieldhouse, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.
Meeting Boards and Comments | Proposed Names and Impacts

Altenheim Line Framework Session Two: In-Person
5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7
DRW College Prep Main Hall, 931 S. Homan Ave.
Welcome VideoMeeting Boards

Altenheim Line Framework Session Two: Online
5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14
Video | Survey

Altenheim Line Framework Session Three: Online
5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2
Video | Presentation

Committee on Design Meeting: Online
1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13
Video | Presentation

Additional dates and materials will be posted on this webpage as they become available. Questions and comments can always be directed to

Study area

Study Area


Supporting Information Facts