Author Topic: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor  (Read 684915 times)

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Offline seicer

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5320 on: June 26, 2011, 02:28:57 PM »
So, I was in Midway, Kentucky yesterday - the midpoint for the the Lexington & Ohio Railroad that still runs daily freight trips between Louisville and Lexington. The line's operator is now RJ Corman, and so we got into the discussion of passenger rail at two shops. I think I pointed this out maybe a while back, but RJ Corman is looking to start up passenger service between the two cities, on trackage he leases from CSX. I don't think I posted the most recent articles, but it looks like money that was to be used to widen Interstate 64 to three-lanes (in each direction) may now be diverted to straighten curves, and do other track maintenance to allow passenger trails to run up to 70 MPH.

Then, one of them says, "At least we don't have that jackass of a governor Kasich running out ship."

Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5321 on: June 26, 2011, 09:03:39 PM »
Sherman, do you know of any news coverage of this? I'd love to share that news with others.
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Offline Jeffery

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5322 on: June 27, 2011, 02:04:37 PM »
^
I wonder if this is related to that Franfort econ dev guys effort to restart passenger service between Louisville and Lexington.  This guy or office things it would be of benefit to Franffort to get the service running.   I think I posted on this elsewhere.

Quote
Then, one of them says, "At least we don't have that jackass of a governor Kasich running out ship."

Ouch! 





Offline noozer

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5323 on: June 27, 2011, 03:38:42 PM »
Kasich shuns buses, trains
Published: Sun, June 26, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.
By Ken Prendergast

Special to The Vindicator

Our dear governor sure has lots of interesting things to say. For example, he said he wants Ohioans to get on his bus or he’ll run them over with it. Odd thing is, Gov. John Kasich doesn’t like buses; doesn’t like trains much either, as we all know. He doesn’t seem to like any alternatives to driving in Ohio, except one.

The April 16, 2011, Dayton Daily News reported that the governor used the state’s planes for 16 in-state, and four out-of-state trips in his first 81 days in office. It took his predecessor 13 months to equal Kasich’s plane usage.

For advocates of better trains and transit, that wasn’t the most telling part of that article. It was yet another memorable Kasich quote: “There is no doubt about it — I can’t get to all these places if I’m not able to fly.”

Read more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2011/jun/26/kasich-shuns-buses-trains/?newswatch
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Offline jeffinmichigan

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5324 on: June 27, 2011, 06:28:54 PM »
Well written piece, Ken. 

Good use of statistics and quotes, as well.  I especially liked the quote from the person at the Ford Motor Company.  That should fit nicely up the butts of those who claim that people always long for the "freedom" of their automobiles and wouldn't dream of using other options if they were available.
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Offline natininja

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5325 on: June 27, 2011, 06:54:03 PM »
What is the context of the Ford quote? You make it sound anti-auto, but I can't imagine something of that nature would come from a Ford person.
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Offline noozer

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5326 on: June 27, 2011, 08:55:23 PM »
What is the context of the Ford quote? You make it sound anti-auto, but I can't imagine something of that nature would come from a Ford person.

It's just an auto exec acknowledging that younger people don't have the same urgency about owning a car as their older siblings or parents..... something they (the automakers) are also seeing in the demographics of their sales.  Younger people are much more engaged with their electronic devices and they want transportation that allows them the freedom and time to use those devices (laptops, smart phones, etc).

A car does not allow for that kind of activity...at least not safely. 

Kasich thinks he can just declare something "cool" and it will be so.  He and his people are so completely out of touch with the wants and needs of upcoming generations that it is laughable.  He might as well show up for his next public event in a white disco suit..... he is that out of touch.

What's cool is this.....

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/06/27/high.speed.train.cnn?&hpt=hp_c2

....Something about which our esteemed Governor is clueless.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 09:04:54 PM by noozer »
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Offline Etheostoma Caeruleum

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5327 on: June 27, 2011, 10:02:07 PM »
^ "Kasich thinks he can just declare something "cool" and it will be so.  He and his people are so completely out of touch with the wants and needs of upcoming generations that it is laughable.  He might as well show up for his next public event in a white disco suit..... he is that out of touch."

I could not agree more. He is also totally out of touch with existing generations...and/or those who are unable to drive, do not wish to drive, etc...  for whatever reason. And after reading the article... I still shudder to think ONE GUY has the power to impose his dogma on an entire state!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 10:11:48 PM by Etheostoma Caeruleum »
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Offline seicer

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5328 on: June 28, 2011, 12:23:41 AM »
Sherman, do you know of any news coverage of this? I'd love to share that news with others.

Let me see if I saved it in my personal archives.

The thing about our proposal in Kentucky, is that it uses a line that RJ Corman owns. It's substantially easier to do improvements to the line - which carries freight four times a day at peak, when you have a cooperative short line operator than a Class One operator. Plus, Corman has other passenger interests - he runs the Bardstown Dinner Train, has proposed one for Lexington (going to Louisville and back), and proposed the White Sulfur Spgs., Wv. - Lexington, Ky. line (Kenneland special from The Greenbrier)!

Offline noozer

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5329 on: June 28, 2011, 08:36:07 AM »
RJ Corman owns or leases several lines in Ohio, but none of them are rail corridors that would generate a lot of passenger traffic.  They are mostly truncated, rural shortlines that serve either agribusinesses in small communities or local industries.
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Offline Jeffery

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5330 on: June 28, 2011, 01:33:19 PM »
Heres what I know about a Lexington/Louisville proposal, though the article says the line would extend beyond Lex to Winchester

One Mans Train of Thought

...its more a local/commuter type concept, not HSR or express service, that is discussed.

Offline noozer

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5331 on: July 25, 2011, 09:30:45 AM »
July/August 2011
 
The Case for Not-Quite-So-High-Speed Rail
The bad news: Republicans have torpedoed plans for American bullet trains. The good news: The Obama administration is quietly building a slower, but potentially much better, rail system.
By Phillip Longman

This principle is also illustrated by Amtrak’s highly successful “Cascades” service on the 187-mile line between Portland and Seattle. The Spanish-designed Talgo “tilt” train sets look futuristic, and with their on-board bistros and comfy chairs they are a joy to ride. But because they run on conventional track through mountainous country shared by freight trains, their current top speed is only 79 mph, and their average speed is just 53.

Still, that’s enough to make taking the train faster than driving, and ridership has swelled to more than 700,000 passengers a year. Using federal stimulus dollars plus state spending, work is currently under way to boost top train speeds to 110-125 mph, simply by adding better signaling and more sidings to let freight trains get out of the way. This incremental investment will also boost reliability and allow for increased frequency, which will further bump up ridership. But numerous studies show there is no point in making trains go faster than 125 mph on a segment this short because of the great cost involved and the limited gains to total trip times. Moreover, if a new bullet train line were built between Portland and Seattle, the tremendous cost of its construction would require fares too high for all but well-heeled business travelers to afford.

Read more at: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/julyaugust_2011/features/the_case_for_notquite_sohighsp030492.php?page=3
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Offline CTownsFinest216

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5332 on: August 20, 2011, 10:51:37 PM »
it is crazy that there is no rail service between cleveland, columbus, and cincinnati.

i would kill for a rail link between cleveland cincinnati, being able to go from downtown to downtown. it doesnt even have to be high speed, i would love something that took about the same time as driving and had reasonable fares. taking a plane doesnt make much sense and it would sure beat the hell out of greyhound.

what are the chances of getting amtrak to run basic service on existing lines? KJP or anyone with expertise what are the technicalities in running passenger rail between the 3-Cs, ie top speeds and what type of equipment. which trains could run into tower city and the airport?

Offline BuckeyeB

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5333 on: August 21, 2011, 07:45:18 AM »
KJP is away, but I'll take a shot at this. Since Gov. Kasich made killing the 3-C trains a high profile issue, I rather doubt we will see any moves by the state to resurrect the issue. In fact, quite the opposite. When they killed the 3-C, they also killed the study process that had been ongoing for some time. That means that any future governor will have to restart the entire process from scratch and that might take a couple of years under the best of circumstances.

So add it up:

a) Four years (at least) of Gov. Kasich.
b) Two years to restudy, assuming a go-ahead is given by an incoming governor.
c) Two additional years to do trackwork, signaling, stations, maintenance facitilies and aqcuire equipment.

We are probably talking ten years---under the best circumstances.

Had we not lost 3-C, we would be well into final engineering and construction would probably have been underway next year. Now we are probably talking about at least ten years with the loss of this initiative. This is the legacy of John Kasich.

As far as Amtrak is concerned, they have a lot of major issues to confront. They will not be leading any effort to bring service to Ohio.

Sorry to be such a pessimist, but the facts speak for themselves. If you want trains you'll have to move to a place where they already exist.
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Offline CTownsFinest216

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5334 on: August 21, 2011, 09:15:29 PM »
yea *sigh*

i guess i was just hoping that despite the HSR plan being killed we could get something running without k-sick. amtrak does have issues yes, but there has been increased ridership and more investment coming in states not named ohio. you would get riders....even just looking at the demographic of college students throughout ohio. megabus does not go between cleveland cincinnati currently and greyhound costs at least $40 one way. amtrak could be competitive in this market. something like the cascades line that operates between vancouver, bc and eugene, or would be good. nice interior with comfortable seats, wifi, business class, full power at your seat, and food on the train. i would take weekend trips to cities in ohio if this existed.

with the tearing down of our cities, lack of forward thinking, and poor investment in public transit i may be forced to move

no one man should have all that power

Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5335 on: August 22, 2011, 09:46:57 AM »
Hello, I'm back from overseas. When I returned, one of the items in the mail was an article forwarded to me by a past president of All Aboard Ohio. In it was an interview of Kasich in which he again decried the 3C trains' "40 mph speed" and that it would have been a drain on the state's budget -- even though revenues from the station-area development Special Improvement District at the Riverside train station would have produced more than sufficient revenues to offset any operating losses from the trains.

CSX killed the 3C trains. Plain and simple. CSX, the owner of the tracks north of Columbus to Cleveland, felt the 3C trains would have caused too much conflict with CSX's growing freight traffic and all the investments it was making associated with its National Gateway project. Perhaps they were right, but that's no reason to kill something. It is reason to adjust the plans, including possibly starting the train services between Cincinnati and Columbus.

But BuckeyeB is correct. You won't see any progress as long as Kasich is governor. "Passenger train" has become a four-letter word around him and those of like mind. When a businessman I know of spoke with one of Kasich's top advisers about two weeks ago about doing "something" with passenger rail in Ohio, his response was "Is there any place where these things are succeeding?" That's why the businessman contacted me, to supply him with with media reports of passenger rail successes. I didn't have to look far for them. Most are listed here on UrbanOhio in the "what other states are doing with rail" section. I encourage all of you to share these stories with your elected officials, too.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 09:49:36 AM by KJP »
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Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5336 on: August 22, 2011, 05:20:33 PM »
This what happens when you don't know enough about an issue to understand what you're saying "no" to. To Kasich & Co. a train is a train is a train....

What California has built vs what California has planned
Ohio's 79-mph 3C trains would be a conventional service like what California has successfully had since 1990

Pragmatic politicians keep their options open. Ideologues dig deeper trenches for themselves, often twisting the facts to protect themselves from criticism of their bad decisions. Gov. John Kasich is doing such today by patting himself on the back with the help of false information in attempt to show he did the right thing by killing Ohio's 3C Corridor project. Trains traveling at 79 mph would have linked one of nation's most populous travel corridors currently lacking passenger trains, and would have been wholly financially supported by revenues from Special Improvement Districts in just one city -- Riverside. Although two other cities, Sharonville and Springfield, also had station-area developments in the works.

Yet Kasich continues to try to derail the fact express by comparing the 3C Corridor to California's high-speed rail project.

Yet California has already built what Kasich has said "no" to -- his so-called "slow train." CalTrans has invested $2 billion from a voter-approved 1990 bond issue for infrastructure, stations and train equipment to provide frequent train services on existing freight rail corridors which has spurred billions of dollars of private investment in station-area real estate developments.

All of this now exists in California:

++ 36 daily trains for the Bay Area-Sacramento Capitol Corridor with average speeds of 45 mph and FY2010 ridership of 1.6 million (#3 in the nation).
++ 24 daily trains for the Santa Barbara-LA-San Diego Pacific Surfliner Corridor with average speeds of 50 mph and FY2010 ridership of 2.6 million (ranked #2 in the nation behind Northeast Corridor).
++ 12 daily trains for the Bay Area-Bakersfield San Joaquin Corridor with average speeds of 55 mph and FY2010 ridership of 1 million (ranked #4 in the nation).

California's track record of success with its conventional passenger rail services is shown here:


What California is doing now is taking the next step to high-speed rail. A 150- to 220-mph corridor that nearly two dozen nations throughout the rest of the developed and developing world have built or are building after they, also, first maxed-out the physical potential of their conventional rail services yet created a political constituency for the next, more aggressive step of high-speed rail. Indeed, no place on the planet has yet built high-speed rail without first having a successful conventional passenger rail service.

Ohio's 3C Corridor plan was to build that conventional service that California has already built, which is common nationwide and growing with record ridership thanks to the investment and support of 15 states throughout America. Those states seek to offer a competitive edge to businesses and to offer more attractive, cost-saving services to new residents and visitors. Ohio seems to be content with a mediocre, heavily subsidized highway system that fosters suburban sprawl and urban decay while failing to capture the imagination of young adults fleeing to places that offer choices of trains and transit which foster energetic cities.


Above, the Emeryville, CA station-area development. Read more about this and other station-area developments here: http://transitorienteddevelopment.dot.ca.gov/miscellaneous/NewHome.jsp

Increasingly, Ohio is getting older and poorer. And both groups are being isolated by a one-size-fits-all transportation system and leaders who fear change only because they do not understand it. I encourage them to learn and will do what I can to help them learn. But continued entrenchment by falsely re-writing the definitions of high-speed rail in order to save face is not a good way to move Ohio's economy forward and to keep its citizens and businesses here, let alone attract new ones.

Further entrenchment in the highways-only status quo, as is evidenced below, is not helpful for Ohio's future........

KJP
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http://blog.kasichforohio.com/?p=4182&msource=JK082211EM1

Lima News: Rail Price Racing Along at High Speed

August 17, 2011 | Tags: 3C Rail, Federal Money, Governor John Kasich, Ohio Budget, Ohio Economy, Ohio Rail — admin @ 10:11 am
Even before taking office, Gov. Kasich asked the federal government to reroute grant money earmarked for the 3C rail program in Ohio and divert it to improving infrastructure across the state. When the federal government denied his request, Gov. Kasich declined to take the grant money altogether…the reason: because it was going to become a money-sink that would cost Ohio taxpayers far more money over time. As the Lima News reports, California taxpayers were led into the trap and could be on the hook for over $6.8 Billion dollars! Read more below:

Amid a stagnant economy, a staggering stock market, governments at all levels straining to stay in the black and taxpayers already burdened to the hilt, the last thing Ohio needs is a commitment to spend even more. Given that, Gov. John Kasich is looking like a genius for refusing federal high-speed rail money.

One needs look only at California — which Ohio government more and more had begun to resemble — to see the folly of government-subsidized high-speed rail. The Golden State’s cost for a relatively small piece of the state’s overall high-speed rail pipe dream has almost doubled. The federal government isn’t picking up any of that doubling in cost, leaving already strapped California taxpayers to pay the bill.

Kasich and Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, took some heat, particularly from Democrats and proponents of subsidizing every thinkable alternative mode of transportation for refusing a combined $1.2 billion for high-speed rail. Kasich and Ohio legislative Republicans said Ohio would be on the hook for future spending to subsidize rail at a time when it barely could pay its current bills. California is proving Kasich right.

The latest setback for this multibillion-dollar boondoggle is the rail agency’s own “adjustment” of the cost for a small segment of the 400-plus-mile system, our sister paper The Orange Country Register reported. It is believed to cost up to $13.9 billion — $6.8 billion more than the $7.1 billion estimate — to construct tracks in the middle of the state from Merced to Bakersfield.

And

If ever there was a clear-cut case to avoid wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, this is it. The good news for Californians is that the train can be stopped before massive spending begins next year when construction on the train to nowhere is scheduled to commence. The better news for Ohioans is that Kasich stopped any such boondoggle from happening in this state before it ever had a chance to leave the federal station.

You can get more details from the original article here....
http://www.limaohio.com/articles/billion-70091-rail-cost.html?cb=1313422485
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 05:43:45 PM by KJP »
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Offline treesketcher

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5337 on: August 22, 2011, 05:33:05 PM »
just throwing out a few ideas here and im sure folks have probably thought of these already but it helps me cope with the lose of the 3C  :-(.

Can we get some kind of non-amtrak passenger rail going in Ohio that is completely independent of the state?  At least that way there is some momentum, at least.  A couple possibilities:

1.  Commuter rail startup in CBus Dayton or Cincy; or even between dayton and Cincy, for example.  Columbus casino to airport would be an obvious one too.

2.  Excursion rail startup in CBus or Cincy similar to CVSR.

3.  Heritage rail trips that are tourist driven.  How cool would it be to have a steam engine or some old coaches roll up to the Columbus Convention center, for example.

Offline jjakucyk

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5338 on: August 22, 2011, 05:57:23 PM »
Hey treesketcher, those are good ideas, and I think some sort of rail connection between Cincinnati and Dayton would be a great place to start.  The thing about excursions/heritage rail trips though is that they sound easy, but the legal/logistical hurdles are immense.  A little while back I got to have dinner with the owner of the Cincinnati Dinner Train, as well as the Midwest Regional Vice President of RailAmerica, and the General Manager of Indiana & Ohio Railway.  I got some fascinating insight into just how difficult it is to plan an excursion route, due to the horribly fragmented ownership of the various rail lines.  Even for a small regional operation like I&O, ownership is all over the place.  They own the tracks and signals, structures, etc., but a different entity owns the actual land (whether SORTA, CSX, themselves, or a subsidiary) and leases it to them.  In other instances, there are special trackage rights on unaffiliated railroads, sometimes as short as a few hundred feet, like through yards or at switching locations. 

What this all boils down to is that every single independent railroad owner and/or operator has different rules and regulations based on their insurance coverage and liability concerns.  A single bridge owned by some stick-in-the-mud who's not covered for passenger liability and won't allow any passenger traffic over said bridge requires that the excursion train let off all their passengers and bus them to a point farther down the line.  That's just one example of a problem situation, but there's also freight conflicts, and a plethora of other hurdles.  Unless you can get a continuous route that's operated by a friendly parent railroad, it's a monumental task.  It kind of makes the notion of nationalizing the rail system and leasing out operations to the private companies, like is done in many parts of Europe, seem like a decent idea.

Offline treesketcher

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5339 on: August 22, 2011, 06:25:36 PM »
great insight, I appreciate it.  I really think there is great demand for this, at least where I live in Cbus, and could be successful if those issues could be worked through.  Bummer there are so many additional barriers to the obvious physical and market-driven ones.  Just being the optimist, theres got to be some place where something like this might work. 

Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5340 on: August 22, 2011, 06:41:17 PM »
I've continued to urge Central Ohioans to pursue an introductory, L-shaped regional commuter rail service on existing freight tracks, from Delaware to the north, Newark to the east, and downtown Columbus at the elbow. CSX owns half of the right of way, which makes this a little complicated right off the bat (CSX is very anti-passenger). But the CSX line to Delaware along I-71 is a duplicate of another CSX line to the west of the Scioto, so the few CSX freight trains along the I-71 line might be detoured to it. In fact, during COTA's North Corridor light rail plan, COTA was ready to build for CSX the infrastructure necessary to vacate that rail line in exchange for taking ownership of it all the way to Galion (near Mansfield).

And as for the route from Columbus to Newark, CSX had a 50% percent ownership stake in it until 2004 when the Ohio Central acquired it (The State of Ohio owned the other 50%). About 10-15 years ago, the Ohio Central proposed operating a commuter rail service over this route but few others seemed interested in it. I hope that's still not the case.

A regional rail service on this L-shaped corridor would provide a significant physical and political foundation on which to build a larger regional system as well as statewide passenger rail services since the regional commuter rail and cross-state intercity passenger rail equipment, technologies and facilities are compatible.

Someone needs to approach COTA and MORPC to see what, if anything they're willing to do to help convene, foster or otherwise assist such a project. If some real estate, transportation construction and railcar interests got together, they would be a powerful influence to get this effort moving forward.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011, 08:07:48 AM by KJP »
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Offline dmerkow

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5341 on: August 22, 2011, 08:21:46 PM »
Columbus currently has the best layout for for a super-regional rail system (Delaware (or even Marion) to the north, Newark to the east, and Chillicothe to the south, and eventually Springfield/Dayton to the west). All are small cities with some semblance of urban cores.

Offline treesketcher

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5342 on: August 22, 2011, 08:33:47 PM »
I think its gotta be initiated by the private sector for any idea to have a chance of gaining momentum and turning into a legitimate concept.  Folks in the public sector seem to be gunshy from the 3C battle.  Aside from all the technical issues, from my layman's perspective, this would make some headway.

Offline treesketcher

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5343 on: August 22, 2011, 08:44:14 PM »
Also, the split project will begin soon.

Offline noozer

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5344 on: September 19, 2011, 06:58:30 AM »
Though directed at the Cincinnati streetcar project, this ballot issue could impact ALL rail projects in the Cincinnati area.... this, according to an analysis by the Cincinnati Enquirer:

 

September 17, 2011


How far does the streetcar ballot issue really go?

Wording could prevent projects until 2020

By Carrie Whitaker and Jane Prendergast
cwhitaker@enquirer.com; jprendergast@enquirer.com

November's ballot issue to halt Cincinnati's streetcar plan until 2020 is written so broadly it could stop other rail projects in the city, say a majority of legal experts interviewed by The Enquirer.

Cincinnati voters will decide on Issue 48 this fall. But the impact of what they'll be voting on has been in dispute.

The author of the charter amendment's wording, Chris Finney, again insisted last week in an interview that his "objective was to limit the scope only to the bad project that's on the table at this time" - the planned streetcar from Downtown's Government Square to Over-the-Rhine, just north of Findlay Market.

Opposition to this ballot issue is led by a group called Cincinnatians for Progress, which formed to fight a similar charter amendment on the November 2009 ballot. That measure failed.

 
Read more at: http://communitypress.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20110917/NEWS0108/109180336/Rail-projects-may-face-halt?odyssey=nav%7Chead
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Offline CLEJoe

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5345 on: September 19, 2011, 07:53:36 AM »
I check out the Cincy streetcar thread about once a day and see the links they're posting from folks opposing the project. It seems the same campaign of misinformation that plagued 3-C is taking over Cincinnati. I wish we could hold hands with state and local politicians, take them for a walk around New England cities, other East Coast cities and Europe to show them that all prosperous cities have access to efficient rail. Not everyone has a damn car (Just got rid of mine this weekend!).

Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5346 on: September 28, 2011, 01:30:26 PM »
OKI (Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments) is hosting Open Houses for their 2040 Plan.  Some how missed the original annoucement, but the last one to appear in person is TODAY 4-7PM at:
 
Butler County Government Services
315 High St
Hamilton, OH 45011
 
If you cannot go, I encourage you writing/emailing/faxing comments to
ATTN: Regina Brock
Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments
720 Pete Rose Way, Suite 420
Cincinnati, OH 45202
T 513-621-6300
F 513-621-9325
Em: rbrock@oki.org
 
If you go or write a note, here are points I encourage you to make:
 
1. Pass a resolution and incorporate high speed rail into planning, Cincinnati-Chicago and Cincinnati-Cleveland.
 
2. Initiate a mini-CREATE project to upgrade Queensgate/Gest St./Union Terminal for more fluid freight traffic and ample space for access to the terminal for passenger train service, includes rebuilding SE Connection, adding 4th Main, etc.  For info on CREATE, see www.createprogram.org
 
3. Commuter Rail between Cincinnati-Dayton/Springfield.  This is population area is approx 70mi long and around 3-3.5million in population.  Similar length and population to Seattle-Tacoma's Sounder, Albuquerque-Santa Fe Rail Runner, and Minneapolis-St. Cloud NorthStar. Could ultimately extend to CVG and DAY.
 
4. Advocate better scheduling and DAILY service for Cardinal.
 
Your comments and feedback to OKI are important.
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Offline chet_kinkaid

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5347 on: December 04, 2011, 01:27:03 AM »
i think the 3c rail project was a bad idea..but i am pro rail..the most obvious needd is a columbus link to amtrak,why on earth is columbus excluded from amtrak??ohios most important city needs a link to pittsburgh and then to new york and west to chicago.there is really not that much need for rail between the 3 c's but there would be great demand for rail to nyc and chicago..and also cincinnati needs better service ie times.make train travel attractive and ppl will use it.

Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5348 on: December 04, 2011, 01:59:37 AM »
The 3C Corridor is one of the top-10 most heavily traveled intercity routes in the United States, according to the US Dept of Transportation. And the 3C project would have given Columbus Amtrak service to the east via Cleveland then through New York state -- the flattest and fastest route to the east. The link wasn't touted as much as it probably should have, but such travel would been possible had the guv kept the money to upgrade the rail lines to the same quality as the direct Chicago-East Coast lines through Toledo and Cleveland. Instead, Columbus remains the largest metropolitan area in North America and possibly the Western Hemisphere without any regularly scheduled passenger rail services, and few local officials seem interested in doing anything about changing that dubious honor. Consider this recent, sad example.... US Railcar Corp. had to ask the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority to sponsor a grant to develop a manufacturing facility in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna! Why? Because local officials wouldn't support it. If Central Ohio won't financially support passenger rail while other states/regions do, then why should passenger rail come there?

But why does Northern Ohio have Amtrak service? Because congressional leaders along that route, especially in Cleveland, fought for it in 1975 as Amtrak's first experimental route. Today, the Lake Shore Limited is one of Amtrak's most heavily used trains. The Capitol Limited was rerouted through Toledo and Cleveland in 1990 after track was downgraded through Canton, Mansfield and Lima.

Then why does Cincinnati have Amtrak service? Because Congressman Harley Staggers Sr. and Senator Robert Byrd both of West Virginia fought to include the Cardinal route in Amtrak's initial system in 1971 to link their state with the East Coast and Chicago. And they fought to keep it, albeit with service reduced to thrice-weekly operations, in the face of repeated Amtrak budget cuts in the 1980s and early 1990s. Cincinnati got and kept its trains because there was no higher quality rail route between West Virginia and Chicago.

No Senator or Congressional leader in Columbus has fought to keep passenger rail since Amtrak's creation 40 years ago. It's why Columbus lost the New York City-Kansas City National Limited in 1979. If a Congressman didn't fight to put or keep your city on the Amtrak route map, then Amtrak isn't going to do it for you. Same deal happened with mapping out federal highway routes. Ohio had won $400 million in no-match federal funds -- as good as it gets -- to put Columbus back on Amtrak's map. Never before has no-match federal dollars been provided for passenger rail, let alone in such large amounts. And Ohio threw it away. Why? In the hopes of getting a better deal?

If you want rail infrastructure that enables fast, drive-time competitive Amtrak service between Columbus and Pittsburgh to the East Coast, as well as to Columbus to Chicago, be prepared for a price tag in excess of $400 million. The highest quality, least expensive route with the greatest ridership potential for Columbus is the 3C Corridor. But if Central Ohio wants something else, then it should seek funding leveraged by some of its own because the no-match rail grants were a one-shot stimulus deal and they're all gone. Local officials should be prepared for a higher start-up cost, leveraged by a 20% non-federal funding match such as from the state or local governments (meaning if Ohio wants to reapply for a $400 million grant, it will now have to pony up $100 million of its own funding to get it). The per passenger-mile operating subsidy would be higher too, based on the Ohio Hub studies, since no Ohio-involved passenger rail route was as promising as 3C when it came to ridership, revenue or operating subsidy per passenger-mile.

But we keep hoping and fighting for change. And I hope you will too, including sharing some ideas on how to get train service back to Ohio's third-largest metropolitan area.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 02:44:56 AM by KJP »
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Offline treesketcher

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5349 on: December 14, 2011, 09:09:45 PM »
^^ I do think there is something intriguing about a Columbus to Pittsburgh connection.  The burgh is a lot harder to drive to from Columbus than Cleveland/Cincy.  I wouldnt be surprised if a startup conventional speed rail would truly be faster than driving (3-3.5 hour trip).  The route between the two cities is a lot more scenic than the 3C route too (IMO) and could draw some pure tourism traffic.  PA is a lot more rail friendly as well; might be easier to get folks on their side interested.  Just a thought.

Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5350 on: December 14, 2011, 10:44:48 PM »
Well, you might certainly find the railroad-owning landlord more supportive than in the 3C Corridor -- the state owns the rail line from Columbus to Mingo Junction near Steubenville. It needs quite a bit of improvements to get it up to at 79 mph. Unfortunately the last 40-some miles from Weirton WV into Pittsburgh is gone, abandoned almost 20 years ago.

And then there's the Ohio Rail Development Commission's enabling legislation which requires ORDC to pursue 3C first as part of a state plan. If someone else wants to initiate the project, putting ORDC in a supportive role instead of a leadership role, then that might their "out." Problem is, per Amtrak's M.O. and under federal law passed in 2008, only the public sector (states or groups of states) can initiate and sponsor intercity passenger rail projects.
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Offline E Rocc

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5351 on: December 16, 2011, 08:21:50 AM »
i think the 3c rail project was a bad idea..but i am pro rail..the most obvious needd is a columbus link to amtrak,why on earth is columbus excluded from amtrak??ohios most important city needs a link to pittsburgh and then to new york and west to chicago.there is really not that much need for rail between the 3 c's but there would be great demand for rail to nyc and chicago..and also cincinnati needs better service ie times.make train travel attractive and ppl will use it.

Leaving aside any comments on which of Ohio's cities is "most important", Cleveland is already on any direct route between New York and Chicago.  Expecting them to divert the line  south to Pittsburgh and Columbus (and presumably Indianapolis) and then back north to Chicago is more expensive to build and more expensive to use. 

I tend to be a skeptic on the topic of 3-C high speed passenger rail because I suspect that every powerful politician on the route will lobby for a stop in their district (does anyone really think Bill Batchelder, for example, is going to want 80mph trains passing through and not stopping in Medina County?) and this would defeat the purpose of the line.

Nevertheless, Columbus's access to NYC and Chicago is clearly going to be a connection to that lakefront route and Cleveland makes the most sense as a connection point, whether it's for passengers or freight.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 08:25:15 AM by E Rocc »
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Offline Keith

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5352 on: December 16, 2011, 08:30:11 AM »
why on earth is columbus excluded from amtrak??ohios most important city
:roll:

Expecting them to divert the line  south to Pittsburgh and Columbus (and presumably Indianapolis) and then back north to Chicago is more expensive to build and more expensive to use. 
The Pennsylvanian already travels from NYC to Pittsburgh, it could just be extended West to Columbus, then Indy, then Chicago. It's not as far out of the way as you make it sound.
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Offline KJP

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5353 on: December 16, 2011, 08:48:35 AM »
I tend to be a skeptic on the topic of 3-C high speed passenger rail because I suspect that every powerful politician on the route will lobby for a stop in their district (does anyone really think Bill Batchelder, for example, is going to want 80mph trains passing through and not stopping in Medina County?) and this would defeat the purpose of the line.


The 3C tracks don't go through Medina County. They go farther west through Lorain County where the landscape is flatter. But I've suggested a stop in Grafton to catch riders from Medina County but especially from Elyria and Lorain.

The Pennsylvanian already travels from NYC to Pittsburgh, it could just be extended West to Columbus, then Indy, then Chicago. It's not as far out of the way as you make it sound.

Sadly, the mainline that Amtrak used before 1979 between Dayton and Indianapolis is gone. The fast, double-tracked, former-Pennsylvania RR was ripped out by Conrail in 1982. The only way to get any train from Columbus to Indianapolis today is either via Hamilton or via a tiny junction called Ridgeway near Bellefontaine. Both are CSX lines -- the alleged culprit who went to Kasich and told him to kill 3C.
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Offline DontGiveUptheFight

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Re: Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor
« Reply #5354 on: January 14, 2012, 06:08:02 PM »
From what I've been reading, it seems that after Kasich's term that another study needs to be done and more years will pass before 3C is built.  Why can't we continue where we left off?  When the next governor starts his term (hopefully Kasich is voted out at the end of this one), the 3C study won't be *that* old.  Spending more time for another study just looks like another obstacle that prevents us from getting things done efficiently.

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