BOULDER, Colorado -- Ohio has plans to complete a passenger rail network connecting its three largest cities - Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati - by 2010, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported last week.
The Ohio Railroad Development Commission, an independent body within the state Department of Transportation, has appealed to the federal government for $100 million to fund the scheme. The service would be operated by Amtrak on already-existing track owned by a private freight company.
The ORDC is still optimistic about opening a state-wide rail system in the future. The project, known as the Ohio Hub, would require an additional $200 million in federal funds, and would take approximately seven years to plan and construct once implemented. While not a true high-speed network, planners hope to achieve regular speeds of 110 mph (read a summary of the project here).
Ohio is woefully underserved by the current passenger rail lines, but the Ohio Hub plan would integrate the state into existing networks in New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario and the rest of the Midwest. The state is jumping on the incoming administration's enthusiasm for infrastructure and mass transit projects, and it should be an embarrassment that this three-city line doesn't already exist.
Thanks to Tyler for the link.