Author Topic: Speculating on Future Cincinnati-Dayton Metroplex Transit  (Read 2448 times)

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Offline Jeffery

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Speculating on Future Cincinnati-Dayton Metroplex Transit
« on: August 05, 2009, 05:51:49 PM »
This post got started by my wondering about how the 3-C+D route would go between Cinci & Dayton.   I pulled this railroad map from the OKI website and saw there are multiple lines running through here, CSX (purple) and Norfolk Southern (green).



I known there is already an Amtrak line running between Hamilton and Cincy, so presumably the Midwest network would be following this route from Chicago and Indy.  So I figure the 3-C would too, using the CSX line between Cincy and Dayton, via Hamilton.

I also noticed that left the NS lines to Hamilton and north to Dayton.   Thinking about KJPs running Peak Oil series and that Cincinnti-Dayton Metroplex thread…. and knowing development patterns are favoring the I-75 intersections (as well as that upper Mill Creek Valley area between Tri-County Mall and Hamilton, including Union Center,  which has extensive commercial development),…I wondered what the alternative to 100% car dependence could be.   

I decided to speculate on what a commuter rail line would look like in Warren and Butler counties, as the start of an alternative transportation system to supplement the car as gas becomes more scarce and expensive.

I show two lines; one to Hamilton, serving the industrial area between Union Center and Hamilton, and another running north to Middletown and Carlisle (and eventually to Dayton).   I put stations near areas were there is some development, like near Union Center, Tylersville Road, two stations in Middletown, and a station in Carlisle.



The idea would be a frequent service possibly using a modern railcar as equipment.  But the northern stations are somewhat remote from the development at the I-75 interchanges north of Tylersville Road. 

So the concept is to used a bus system to connect the interchanges with the stations




There would be some sort of circulator/feeder system between Hamilton and the industrial /commercial development north of Route 4 to Union Center and Westchester, and lines extending out to nearby places like Trenton and Springboro and Otterbein and Mason, which could act as shuttle routes between shopping and office complexes at the interchanges. 

But also development could be intensified/densified at the stations, particulary the southern ones



And alternative would be the “transit down the median” concept, running a German-style S-Bahn between Cincy and Dayton down the middle of I-75 (when theres enough median strip for it), with feeders and circulators connecting with the stations at the interchanges.  If you really wanted to go for broke youd put in a PRT people-mover between interchange stations and things like the offices and hospital at the Tylersville Road exit.



Just playing around with the idea of a regional transit concept here.  I sort of like the logic behind the S-Bahn concept as its more relevant to the linear development, where you’d be traveling between development nodes/stations on I-75 rather than the more remote Norfolk Southern line to the west.   The cost would be astronomical, though.  Of course in a fuel crisis there might not be an alternative to doing something that’s almost science-fiction.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 11:02:15 AM by ColDayMan »

Offline Eighth and State

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Re: Speculating on Future Cincinnati-Dayton Metroplex Transit
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2009, 06:17:12 PM »

    It's hard to imagine any kind of transit oriented development co-existing with the auto-oriented sprawl. They are polar opposites. Some of those motorways in the Union Centre area are six lanes wide. No one wants to walk across that street.

     The NS and CSX line sbetween Cincinnati and Hamilton are operated as a pair of one-way tracks, improving efficiency for both railroads. Amtrak does not follow this convention, however.

Offline UncleRando

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Re: Speculating on Future Cincinnati-Dayton Metroplex Transit
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2009, 07:09:35 PM »
The best thing about growth occurring along the I-75 corridor is that it's also a great rail corridor for both freight and passenger traffic.  This is the greatest long-term opportunity for the Cin-Day region...much more than any interchange that will result in a plethora of low-quality suburban style growth.

Offline Jeffery

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Re: Speculating on Future Cincinnati-Dayton Metroplex Transit
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 08:58:27 PM »
^
yeah, for reorienting future growth around rail.  But I'm also interested on how to accomodate the development that is already there at the interchanges or around the Hamilton/Warren/Butler county lines, which (from the air) is quite extensive.

Quote
t's hard to imagine any kind of transit oriented development co-existing with the auto-oriented sprawl. They are polar opposites.


It is hard to imagine, but maybe there can be some kind of synthesis.  It's an interesting development/planning problem.


Offline ProkNo5

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Re: Speculating on Future Cincinnati-Dayton Metroplex Transit
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 12:24:11 PM »
Okay, if we're talking about dream scenarios here...I like the I-75 S-Bahn better.  I just got off a few S-bahns in Nuremberg and Munich last week and they are comfortable.  Plus, if we're going to build a new system, we should focus on making the stops as close to where the development is now.  We don't need to eat up more land to make new TODs.  Current sprawl can reorient itself toward the station in the future.

I do have some dream ideas for downtown Cincinnati connections though.  S-Bahns should run along I-75 and I-71 but would run through the subway tunnels making the Race St Station the Hauptbahnhof (if you will).  The tunnel could be extended a short distance further to cut through Broadway Commons (where a stop could potentially be added for Greyhound) and then enter the I-71 ROW there. 

As I'm sure the Riverfront Transit Center will eventually be used for transit, we could then turn Walnut Street into a pedestrian zone linking the two main stations.  We could rezone Walnut so that all new development has street level retail the entire length. 


Dreaming aside, I think we really need to consider using freeway ROW for rail.  Not knowing any hard figures, I can't imagine a cheaper way to acquire ROWs. 
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Offline KJP

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Re: Speculating on Future Cincinnati-Dayton Metroplex Transit
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2009, 10:30:16 AM »
Quote
I known there is already an Amtrak line running between Hamilton and Cincy, so presumably the Midwest network would be following this route from Chicago and Indy.  So I figure the 3-C would too, using the CSX line between Cincy and Dayton, via Hamilton.

Not necessarily. The most direct rail line that, in the past, had the most passenger rail service on it to Indy and Chicago was the former New York Central line that headed west from Cincinnati along the river before turning inland near Lawrenceburg. It then goes through Greensburg, Shelbyville and past Amtrak's primary rail car and locomotive maintenance facility in Beech Grove, IN. This was a straight and very fast route, with NYC streamliners regularly hitting 100 mph here. But this line was not maintained in the 1970s (as did others across Indiana) so Amtrak had to keep rerouting its Chicago-Cincinnati "Cardinal" train until finally settling on the current route through Hamilton and Connersville, IN. But it's far from ideal, as the Cardinal takes some eight hours from Cincinnati to Chicago, while NYC back in the 1950s linked the two cities in five hours.

Also, 3-C Corridor may not go via Hamilton although a regional rail/commuter rail service probably should. And the goal is to get rail service into the hearts of the older communities along the traditional rail lines. Those areas, which suffered by routing I-75 east of them, were designed with pedestrian-friendly street grids that have short blocks and narrow rights of way to slow down traffic. There have been lots of building demolitions and some street alignments to speed up traffic (the antithesis of pedstrianism and thus creating a transit-unfriendly environment), but these areas physical layout are still well-suited to economic revival by the introduction of a contemporary passenger rail service.

My thought for the day: take the existing rail lines and turn one into a high-speed 3-C corridor offering 110+ mph speeds (cannot mix with freight), turn another into a freight corridor (cannot mix with high-speed and might not be ideal to mix with regional rail) and turn the third into a regional/commuter rail corridor (offers more reliability when not mixing with freight). Where there are only two parallel corridors, build added tracks to accommodate the third rail use.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2009, 10:30:41 AM by KJP »
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