Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan:
Meeting of Midwest States in Columbus
boosts Ohio’s Passenger Rail Effort
COLUMBUS (October 15, 2009) - Adding to the unprecedented interest in passenger rail development in Ohio, the multi-state Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) will hold the group’s first-ever meeting in Ohio Thursday and Friday to discuss the future of passenger rail in the region.
The status of Ohio’s recent 3C “Quick Start” application for federal stimulus funds - as well as the applications of other Midwestern projects - will be a lead topic on the MIPRC agenda, along with discussions about pending federal legislation aimed at long-term high-speed passenger rail funding.
Bringing together transportation leaders and passenger rail experts from across the Midwest, the MIPRC will meet in downtown Columbus, just blocks away from a proposed station location for Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” service.
“Ohio welcomes transportation leaders from across the Midwest to Columbus. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss how a robust regional passenger rail system will generate economic growth in Ohio and beyond,” said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said.
“Just a few weeks ago, Ohio was one of eight Midwestern states to submit federal stimulus applications for passenger rail projects, illustrating our commitment to building a system of rail transportation that connects our region and grows the Midwest economy,” added Governor Strickland.
Earlier this month, Ohio submitted its application for federal stimulus funding for the 3C “Quick Start” Plan - connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati with medium speed 79 mph passenger trains. The application included more than 140 letters and resolutions of support from governments, community and business leaders along the corridor.
The 3C “Quick Start” Plan is one component of the state’s plans to deliver transportation choice to Ohioans. Ohio also joined the State of Indiana in applying for $2.8 million in Recovery Act funds to finance planning for advancing the Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland corridor to high speed. The state is conducting the next required environmental study for implementing high speed passenger rail in the following corridors: Toledo-Cleveland-Pittsburgh; Columbus-Toledo; and Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati. Governor Strickland and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell sent a joint letter to the Federal Railroad Administration urging the FRA to designate Cleveland-Pittsburgh as a high speed rail corridor, which would create a federally designated high speed rail corridor connecting Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
According to information gathered by the MIPRC, eight Midwestern states submitted applications, seeking a share of the $8 billion in high-speed passenger rail funding made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin met the October 2 deadline for submitting applications to the Federal Railroad Administration, asking for almost $10 billion in funding to fully develop corridors and purchase train sets for new service.
MIPRC brings together state legislators and other transportation leaders from across the region to advocate for passenger rail improvements. Formed by compact agreement in 2000, the MIPRC's current members are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
For more information, contact Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or Stu Nicholson, Ohio Rail Development Commission, at (614) 644-0513