Supporters: Full Speed Ahead for Ohio's 3C Passenger Rail Plan
Columbus, OH - Plans to build a passenger rail system in Ohio are moving right along and trains could be running as early as 2012, according to supporters. The 3C Rail Corridor will connect Cleveland, Columbus, Springfield, Dayton and Cincinnati. Comments from Jennifer Miller, conservation coordinator, Sierra Club, Ohio Chapter.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - It's full speed ahead for Ohio's 3C Rail Corridor, which will connect Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati and points between with passenger trains.
Jennifer Miller, conservation director for the Sierra Club's Ohio chapter, says a recent study (at http://3cisme.ohio.gov) shows the trains' average speed will average 50 miles per hour, with some segments approaching speeds of 60 miles per hour. She says this makes the 3C comparable to other Amtrak routes and makes ridership competitive with driving, with more trains and even faster speeds possible when the service is up and running.
"Every high-speed rail project in the United States started as a conventional-speed train, like the 3C proposal. In fact, 15 states have projects similar to the 3C; all have been successful and all experienced increased ridership."
The 3C Rail Corridor is part of a larger, Midwest regional rail plan. It could be operational as early as 2012 and create more than 8,000 jobs. Ohio was awarded $400 million of Federal Recovery Act funds for the project this year.
No matter what the average speed, Miller says the project is not just about riding the rails, but about an infrastructure project that will create employment for the state.
"It will improve existing tracks to provide passenger rail service; at the same time, it provides faster freight service which creates jobs and economic development all along the route."
For those who want to weigh in on the project, the Ohio Department of Transportation is hosting a series of public meetings to get input on how the state should allocate transportation dollars. Information is available at www.go.ohio.gov.