Marc Lefkowitz | 10/02/08 @ 10:05am
The Ohio Rail Development Commission won a $62,500 grant today (from the Federal Railroad Administration) to study the feasibility of a passenger rail line connecting Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Gov. Strickland earlier this year called for Amtrak to operate the service. The corridor is the most densely-populated in Ohio with almost 60-percent of the state's population, but has not seen passenger rail service since 1971.
If it proves feasible, the line would need upgrades to the safety of crossings. The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 also passed a key vote in the Senate this week. It would allow for the installation of new safety features and create a funding mechanism that provides states with 80% federal assistance for rail projects. This could be key to the hopes of high-speed rail initiatives like the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati (3-C) line.
The Ohio Hub Study is part of a larger, regional study exploring the feasibility of a 1,244-mile interstate rail network with 46 passenger stations serving 22 million people in five states and southern Ontario, Canada. Read more.