One of the biggest complaints about Columbus, and Ohio in general, is the lack of public transportation. Rumors of trains and Amtrak expansions have been floating around for decades, but on December 5th, lawmakers took a first step towards making a thriving public transportation system in Ohio possible.
Senator Sherrod Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration has selected four key routes in Ohio as priorities for Amtrak expansion! The Federal Railroad Administration will provide $500,000 to each announced corridor for planning under the Corridor Identification program, according to Sen. Brown’s press release.
The corridors that will receive the funding for planning include trains that would connect the following cities:
- Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati (the 3C+D corridor)
- 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.
Basically, Columbus could potentially become a hub for Midwest travel. We’d be able to travel to other Ohio cities in a jiffy, plus larger cities like Chicago and NYC without having to book a flight or get on the highway.
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The planning phase will hopefully start in 2024, which will include assessing tracks and seeing what will need to be done to make this work. A time frame of when this could be completed, and when we can travel to Cincinnati just for lunch and back, has yet to be announced.
“Today’s announcement is a great first step toward expanding Amtrak in Ohio,” said Brown. “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. I fought for the investment to make Amtrak expansion in Ohio possible – and I will keep fighting to make sure that Ohio receives these critical infrastructure projects.”
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