Investments in Passenger Rail on the Rise in Ohio
Stimulus investments by Amtrak enhance Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Plan
COLUMBUS (Tuesday, September 8, 2009) - As Ohio finalizes its federal application for stimulus funding for the 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan, Amtrak is announcing early stimulus-funded investments along it current long-distance routes through northern Ohio.
While the actual costs for each of the improvements have not yet been determined, Amtrak has shared plans with the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to upgrade three stops that are part of the Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Toledo-Chicago route. Funding will come from stimulus dollars directly allocated to Amtrak.
Among the improvements are a new ADA-compliant shelter station building and concrete platform in Alliance; improved sidewalks and parking stalls and upgrades to the walkway to the center platform in Elyria; and accessibility upgrades to the existing concrete platforms in Bryan.
“Despite very limited service in Toledo, Cleveland and Cincinnati, Amtrak’s investment in Ohio’s workers and businesses is strong - more than $15 million a year strong,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. “These new stimulus investments by Amtrak in our state will strengthen Ohio’s efforts to secure additional stimulus funding for the 3C ‘Quick Start’ Plan.”
Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan - connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati as part of the nationally-prioritized Chicago Hub - is a strong contender for funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. If funded, the 3C “Quick Start” plan would have initial conventional-speed service running as early as 2011 using the safest, most efficient and cost-effective route.
ODOT and ORDC are currently working with Amtrak and the state’s freight railroads to complete updated studies on routing and ridership. The state will submit its 3C “Quick Start” application to the Federal Railroad Administration by October 2nd.
Currently, Amtrak has three long-distance trains that go through Ohio but service is limited, with trains departing and arriving in the middle of the night. Despite this limited service, Amtrak served 121,019 riders at its Ohio stations in 2008.
Amtrak also investments more than $12.6 million for goods and services in Ohio, from more than a dozen local companies such as the Timken Company, Columbus Steel Casting, Cleveland Track Materials, Swiger Coil and the Dayton Phoenix Group.
In 2008, Amtrak directly employed 56 Ohioans with total annual wages of more than $3.9 million.
“A strong part of Ohio’s application for stimulus funds will be this proven ability to leverage public-private partnerships,” added Director Molitoris. “Investing a passenger rail system designed for a 21st Century Ohio is critical to the future growth and economic competitiveness of our state.”
The latest information on Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan can be found online at 3CisME.ohio.gov.
For more information, contact Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications, at (614) 644-0513.
Please note: http://3CisME.ohio.gov does not contain the typical ‘www’ in the address.