Amtrak plan for Dayton, Cincy, Columbus, Cleveland gets first early funding

This is preliminary planning money for the long talked-about 3C-and-D passenger rail route

The Federal Railroad Administration has identified four routes in Ohio as priorities for Amtrak expansion, including a proposed line connecting Dayton to Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

Amtrak, the state of Ohio and other planning organizations will start corridor development work, including the creation of a service development plan, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced on Tuesday.

The Federal Railroad Administration will provide $500,000 to pay for planning for each of the four routes, including the proposed service between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati (3-C+D corridor).

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The four Ohio corridors will receive priority in future funding competitions, Brown’s office said.

The two corridors we are located on, Cincinnati-Dayton-Columbus-Cleveland (3C+D) and the Cardinal route, have both received funding.

This will provide $500,000 in funding for planning in each of the the corridors.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office has previously said that the planning work would help determine the feasibility of passenger rail services in the state.

The studies are supposed to help identify how much the services would cost the state and whether the lines would be profitable or would require significant state subsidies to cover operating losses.

The governor’s office said the state wants to know how often Ohioans would ride the passengers trains, what type of service schedule would be possible and whether the routes would be cheaper or would save riders time, compared to other modes of travel.

“Today’s announcement is a great first step toward expanding Amtrak in Ohio,” Sen. Brown said in a statement. “Good Amtrak service shouldn’t be a privilege only for people on the coasts. These new routes would expand opportunity, help grow businesses and create jobs, and connect communities in Ohio and across the Midwest.”

Part of the planning work will include identifying capital construction projects needed to initiate or expand passenger rail service to those areas, his office said.

Amtrak officials and some local leaders have come out in strong support of creating a new intercity rail service connecting Dayton to Ohio’s largest cities.

Other corridors that will receive money for planning-stage work are the following:

  • Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit;
  • Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus-Pittsburgh, the Midwest Connect corridor via Lima, Kenton, Marysville, Columbus, Newark, Coshocton, Newcomerstown, Uhrichsville, and Steubenville in Ohio;
  • Daily Cardinal Service, increasing service frequency from three days per week to daily on Amtrak’s current service to Cincinnati between New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, IL via the States of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

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