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Ohio Hub/Midwest Regional Rail/ORDC

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wow..four to eight daily trains from Chicago....to Quincy?

 

...a run like that to the Quad Citys might make more sense.

 

I see from that map they are thinking of extending proposed service to Rockford. That could be done right now by extending one of the commuter services from Chicago west to Rockford.

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All,

 

If you'd like to find out more what's being planned for Ohio, passenger rail-wise, visit the Ohio Rail Development Commission's web page on this matter, at:

 

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/Programs/Rail%20Programs.htm

 

For more information on the advocacy component of this effort, please visit:

 

www.OhioansForPassengerRail.com

 

or, for the specific campaign effort:

 

http://www.ohioansforpassengerrail.com/corridors.php

 

If you would like more information, feel free to contact me at KJPrendergast@core.com or the Ohio Rail Development Commission. ORDC's contact information is available on their website (listed above).

 

Regards,

 

KJP

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"I just wish we had a resident railfan...much like Broad&HighCMH at SSP with aviation (he studies it)."

 

I believe KJP has stepped up to the plate - welcome to the forum, KJP!

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Thanks, but please don't use the term "railfan." You wouldn't call a highway lobbyist a "cementhead" would you? Or an aviation advocate an "air head"? <g>

 

KJP

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Thanks' date=' but please don't use the term "railfan." You wouldn't call a highway lobbyist a "cementhead" would you? Or an aviation advocate an "air head"? <g>

 

KJP[/quote']

 

We call highway lobbyists "roadfans."

 

Wish you luck in your endevor.

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Thanks, but please don't use the term "railfan." You wouldn't call a highway lobbyist a "cementhead" would you? Or an aviation advocate an "air head"? <g>

 

KJP

 

We call highway lobbyists "roadfans."

 

Wish you luck in your endevor.

 

Among serious rail enthusiasts and supporters of rail passenger service, "railfan" and "foamer" are approximately synonymous, and conjure up the image of an obsessed doofus in a striped jacket and engineer's cap festooned with railroad patches and pins, four or more cameras hanging from his neck and a radio scanner programmed to railroad operating frequencies attached to his belt, dashing frenziedly through dangerous places to get pictures. Or he may be esconced with another of his ilk in the lounge or in the coach seat directly behind you, loudly spouting statistics :yap: or engaging in a game of "can you top this" with narratives of fantastic (to him) exploits and adventures. He's usually a legend in his own mind :-)  and among the most obnoxious and maladjusted :weird: of creatures. If he hasn't found any other railfans on board and suspects that you have the slightest interest in trains, he'll immediately become your buddy for life, or at least for the duration of your trip.

 

In short, it's not a compliment to be called a railfan. Rail enthusiast is somewhat better, or passenger train advocate, etc.

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Wow, you guys are a sensitive bunch!

 

I mean, I'm happy to be called an architecture/skyscraper/urban geek... but then again, that doesn't roll off the tongue easily, does it?

 

rob - replace something architecture-related with the rails in your description and you've described quite a few people on this forum :shock:

 

:lol:

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ummm, rob_1412. I can't really figure out your post above, but it looks like you don't like people that like trains?? What's wrong with that? I love trains and almost became (and still thinking about becoming) a locomotive engineer. My grandfather also loves trains and is too him like Skyscrapers are to me. Neither one of us where whatever image you describe above...if I am making out your post right.

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ummm' date=' rob_1412. I can't really figure out your post above, but it looks like you don't like people that like trains?? What's wrong with that? I love trains and almost became (and still thinking about becoming) a locomotive engineer. My grandfather also loves trains and is too him like Skyscrapers are to me. Neither one of us where whatever image you describe above...if I am making out your post right.[/quote']

 

MayDay, Ronnie,

 

I'm in no way disparaging people who feel passionately about their interests, and in fact I get even more enthused about railroads in any form than I do about inspiring buildings and cityscapes. I'd rather hang out in an open vestibule or on the back end of a caboose or in the cab of a locomotive than in a comfy seat in a climate-controlled coach; the hiss of the wheels on rails, the smell of creosote from the ties, the throb of an EMD diesel working a freight train up a two-percent grade, all those things delight me. At the same time, I realize the importance of following safety rules and respecting the property rights of railroad companies and authority of railroad employees and officials.

 

In my remarks, I was affirming KJP's comment about the use of "railfan" and trying to differentiate between:

 

- those of us who pursue our passions for railroading, inform ourselves, and try to share our interests with other people who enjoy them,

 

and

 

- the people whose knowledge of the business is superficial, whose lack of understanding of the hazards in railroading and whose boorish conduct and disregard for other passengers causes railroad employees and officials to take a dim view of rail enthusiasts in general.

 

The latter is the image that "railfan" conjures among professional railroaders and serious rail enthusiasts. I was just trying to communicate the sensitivity that some people feel about this.

 

Ronnie, I have several good friends who are in the railroad business, and I enjoy nothing more than spending time with them. See the Indiana Northeastern RR page on my site at http://www.robertpence.com/INRR.html

 

I feel like maybe I just clouded the issue even more.

 

In the same vein, conduct makes a big difference in how an architecture buff with a camera is received if he wants to get pictures that go beyond the standard street view; most of us recognize that if we want to photograph interior details, especially in professional buildings like banks, it's a good idea to ask permission. We realize that if we deal respectfully with building managers or property owners we sometimes have the opportunity to get access to rooftops and other interesting spots that aren't accessible to the general public.

 

I admire and appreciate people who have enthusiasm and passion, and I think this site is a great place to see photography by people who take their cities and their photography seriously. The discussions are well-informed and civil; it's a great site. I certainly didn't mean to create strife or show disrespect.

 

I also talk a lot. It's been said that if you ask me what time it is, I'll tell you how to make a watch. I apologize if I offended anyone. I'll shut up, now.

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No apologies needed, rob - I understood your post clearly. :) The term 'railfan' makes people think of some goofy guy who dresses up as an locomotive engineer (with cap of course). That wouldn't apply to people like you and KJP who are much more involved.

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is there any life left in the plan to connect ohio via passenger rail? did anyone get elected this cycle who cares about that or is even aware of it? do you think it will be given more thought with the steep rise is gasoline prices?

 

some info:

 

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/Press%20Releases/04%20-Gasoline%20Prices%20Time%20to%20rethink%20rail%20OpEd%206204.htm

 

an old osu opinion poll in favor of building it:

 

http://www.wisarp.org/badgerrails/Vol20-Iss05.pdf

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it is my dream to see passanger rail service in ohio and some form of mass transit in cincy and c-bus before i die (and keep in mind i'm only 21). but with the current list of politicans who voted down the support of rail service in ohio winning thier offices back

 

Boehner, Hamilton

Chabot, Cincinnati

Gillmor, Port Clinton

Hobson, Springfield

Oxley, Findlay

Portman, Cincinnati

Pryce, Columbus

Regula, Canton

Tiberi, Columbus

Turner, Dayton

 

i don't see this happening anytime in the foreseeable future. by the way didn't you forget that bringing passenger rail will just bring all the the violence and people in the inner cities to the suburbs.

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by the way didn't you forget that bringing passenger rail will just bring all the the violence and people in the inner cities to the suburbs.

LOL! I always loved that "argument".

 

I'd love to see high-speed rail as well and I'd definitely use it to travel within the state (especially to Columbus). I just haven't seen anything recently that makes me believe that this is even on the state's radar at this point.

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by the way didn't you forget that bringing passenger rail will just bring all the the violence and people in the inner cities to the suburbs.

 

When the DC Metro system was designed, the residents of Georgetown didn't want it in their neighborhood for that reason. I wonder how many have come to regret their resistance.

 

In Baltimore, the police in the northern burbs used to meet the arriving northbound light rail trains to intercept any "undesirables" arriving from the inner city. I don't know if they still do that.

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by the way didn't you forget that bringing passenger rail will just bring all the the violence and people in the inner cities to the suburbs.

 

I wonder if this has been the case in New York, D.C., Chicago, Boston, Toronto, the Bay Area, or anywhere else with a good transit system?

 

Or just the fear of xenophobic security moms and dads? I mean, the bus fare is cheaper than any light rail would be and those run all the way out to Mason, West Chester and everywhere in between.

 

If it's actual crime they're worried about, the argument is complete BS. Who's going to rob a person, car, or whatever and then go wait for the bus/train for 10 minutes?? You gotta get away!

 

But I know what they're really worried about is loitering, to which I have two replies:

 

Who's going to pay $2 each way to loiter with absolutely no purpose?, and

If you're worried about loitering at the mall, etc. there are other ways to address that if it becomes a problem (fights, obstructing store entrances, etc.)

 

To block light rail for this reason is nonsensical.

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Yes, and the 4-lane limited access highway half a mile away from me is oh-so-quiet.

 

Honestly, in the fishwraps I see nothing but people (especially in the suburbs) whacking themselves off over the desire for more roads. 6-lane arteries. People are totally willing to move pretty far out and then immediately declare that no one else should move there and that traffic is a concern.

 

In some areas it's completely unlikely that there could ever be enough road built.

 

Man, I'm starting to get pissed so I should just quit before I damage this board irreparably.

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Yes' date=' and the 4-lane limited access highway half a mile away from me is oh-so-quiet.

[/quote']

 

I kid you not. I went to a "neighborhood meeting" for COTA talking about their proposal for the North coridor transit line (from the Arena District to Polaris) back in Feburary (long before I knew if I was to be moving south). And some blue hair comments that he or she (I don't remember the sex now) is concerned about the noise the trains would make.

Mind you, if you are within a 1/2 mile of Indianola Ave/4th St/Summit St. you can already hear the freight train whistles and the clanking of the steel wheels (most assuredly over the regular clatter of I-71) and for most of the route, this is the track the new trains would use.

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Is there life in the Ohio 3-C Corridor project to develop fast passenger rail service? More than that!

 

A comprehensive, multi-route plan for developing passenger and freight rail service using existing rights of way (starting out with 2-3 daily round trip passenger trains at the current max of 79 mph) and then building from there to 5-8 daily round trips at 110 mph. It's called the Ohio Hub System plan and is being rolled out in multiple Ohio cities over the next few months at public meetings all of you can attend (and should!). The planned routes are (only major cities are listed):

 

+ Detroit - Toledo - Cleveland - North Akron - Youngstown - Pittsburgh (300 miles, 12 million population);

+ Cleveland - Erie - Buffalo - Niagara Falls - Hamilton - Toronto (290 miles, 10 million population);

+ Cleveland - Galion/Mansfield - Columbus - Springfield - Dayton - Middletown - Cincinnati (250 miles, 8 million population);

 

Why should Ohio build such a system?

 

> Ohio's population density is the eighth greatest in the nation (greater than Florida or California). Of the top 17 most densely populated states in the U.S., only Ohio and Hawaii do not have an ongoing passenger rail development program (of course, Hawaii doesn't have any rail lines!). Fast, affordable and reliable transportation between cities is a key factor in keeping and attracting jobs. Other big states get it; Ohio hasn't so far.

 

> Ohio Hub trains will allow travel from downtown Cleveland to downtown Cincinnati in just over 3 hours (or less from suburban stations), and cost about $95 one-way versus $85-130 one-way by car, or $186-755 one-way by air. Round-trip discounts would apply for rail or air trips. Or, Cleveland - Detroit rail travel would take about 2 1/4 hours (or less from suburban stations), cost about $43 one-way versus $57-88 by car or $157-544 by air. You get the idea.

 

> Trains allow travelers to be productive while they travel, like preparing for a meeting they heading to, or finishing reports on meetings they're coming from, giving them more time to spend with their families or do leisure activities or more work. Students going to school can take their bicycles on the train, socialize with others, or even do homework they meant to do over the weekend. Travelers can enjoy a snack or beverage, unwind or take a nap, at 110 mph, regardless of the weather.

 

> Airlines are withdrawing from smaller cities (Mansfield and Youngstown have lost all commercial air service) and are pulling back from shorter-distance markets of less than 300 miles (higher costs for fuel, security, airport charges etc). This leaves only the highway for most trips, which usually means driving yourself, since Greyhound has been cutting bus service in Ohio and across the nation since the 1980s.

 

> Ohio's population is getting older, a trend that will continue for the next 25-40 years as the Baby Boomers age and become physically less mobile. Many urban Ohio residents do not have cars, or just one car per household. Without another way for them to get around, Ohio is losing an opportunity to keep them fully involved in Ohio's economy.

 

> Ohio Hub trains will link downtowns, suburbs, small towns, airports and transit systems. In some cases, such as at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, the trains would directly serve the airport terminal. The tracks to be used for trains on all four Ohio Hub routes pass within 500 feet of Hopkins Airport's long-term parking deck, making possible a link between plane and train under a single roof. Few places in North America offer such an opportunity.

 

> To add fast passenger trains to existing rights of way will, in many cases, require investments to freight rail corridors where traffic already is heavy. Such an investment is welcomed by the freight railroads, which cannot afford to add capacity fast enough to handle the growth they are experiencing. Railroads like Norfolk Southern are not only an active partner in the Ohio Hub planning process to increase the "fluidity" of their freight operations, but have expressed some interest in possibly operating the passenger trains, as well.

 

> The Ohio Rail Development Commission has $50 million in hand to leverage federal surface transportation funding for the initial phase of development (79 mph services), but needs to advance the planning process to a point where it can be eligible to apply for those federal funds. Indeed, in the last six years, ODOT and Ohio metropolitan planning organizations did not spend tens of millions of dollars in federal congestion mitigation/air quality funds. These dollars will again be made available to them in the next surface transportation reauthorization. Rail development is an eligible use for these funds.

 

There's more reasons, including:

 

* that Ohio has more than 100 rail industry suppliers which do more business outside of Ohio and overseas, but would rather build infrastructure and trains/components for services in their own backyards;

 

* that highway contractors will benefit as railroads already use them to build bridges and do earthmoving (in fact, Burlington Northern/Santa Fe RR paves a new right of way with an asphalt road to ease access for construction vehicles and to stabilize the track bed);

 

* that the cost of expanding airports is becoming prohibitively expensive (more than $3 billion worth of airport expansions are underway or completed just in 3-C Corridor cities, despite that 30-60 percent of all flights go to/from cities less than 400 miles away);

 

* that the cost of further widening interstate highways is also becoming prohibitively expensive. I-71 and Ohio Turnpike added third lanes in each direction in the least expensive way--by paving their medians, costing $500 million for I-71, and $1.4 billion for Ohio Turnpike. Traffic on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus is expected to jump another 50 percent by 2020, and rose 25 percent on the Turnpike in the last 10 years, a rate that is expected to continue. Further widenings will require property acquisitions, major earthmoving and other large costs that weren't part of the last widening projects.

 

That's probably enough for now. If you'd like to learn more, drop me a note at KJPrendergast@core.com and I'll mail to you a copy of the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers' special newsletter on the Ohio Hub System. Or, visit www.ohioansforpassengerrail.com on the Web.

 

Please, go to the public meetings to be held around the state in the coming months. The first will be in Toledo on October 16. See the schedule below:

 

Tuesday, November 16th, 7-9 pm at TMACOG in Toledo: ORDC/TMACOG Ohio Hub presentation to the public in Toledo and Northwest Ohio region.

 

Friday, November 19th at 11:30 a.m. to 1 pm at Columbus Metropolitan Club: ORDC's Jim Seney and other panelists to address business and community leaders about Ohio Hub Study

 

Thursday, December 9th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at NOACA in Cleveland: Technical meeting with NOACA and planners from the City of Cleveland's Lakefront project, the Ports, Greater Cleveland RTA and ODOT.

 

Monday, December 13th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Civic Center in Lima: ORDC/Lima Mayor's Office Ohio Hub presentation to business and community leaders in Lima.

 

Monday, December 13th, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Lima City Council Chambers: ORDC/Lima Mayor's Office Ohio Hub presentation to the general public.

 

Wednesday, January 19th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at location TBD in Columbus: ORDC/MORPC Ohio Hub presentation to business and community leaders in Central Ohio

 

Wednesday, January 19th, 5:30-7:30 pm at location TBD in Columbus: ORDC/MORPC Ohio Hub presentation to the public.

 

Tuesday, January 25th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Clark State Community College in Springfield: ORDC/Clark County/Springfield TCC presentation to business and community leaders in the Springfield area.

 

Tuesday, January 25th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Clark State Community College in Springfield: ORDC/Clark County/Springfield TCC presentation to the public.

 

Wednesday, January 26th, 1:30-3:30 pm at OKI in Cincinnati: ORDC/OKI Ohio Hub presentation to business and community leaders in Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio.

 

Wednesday, January 26thth, 5:30-7:30 pm at OKI in Cincinnati: ORDC/OKI Ohio Hub Presentation to the public in Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio.

 

 

Soon to be confirmed:

 

Dayton (Technical and public meeting dates to follow)

Cleveland (Public Meeting January/February)

Akron/Canton (in Akron in January/February)

Youngstown/Alliance (in Youngstown in January/February)

Mansfield/Galion (in Mansfield in January/February)

 

 

KJP

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^ I was wondering the same thing. It wouldn't cost me more than $15 in gas unless that goes higher than $2/gallon. What's the rest- parking for a long time or something?

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The IRS allows for somewhere around 37¢/mile as the cost of operating a car - that includes a gas, depreciation, a pro-rated maintenance cost, and probably a few other things. It definitely varies from car to car, but in the end it averages out pretty well. Many companies use the same figure for reimbursing folks for driving their personal cars. Anyway, 240ish miles * $0.37 = $88ish...

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And the IRS deduction doesn't come close to including all costs of driving. The American Automobile Association publishes vehicle-specific lists that show the cost for driving smaller cars is closer to the IRS figure, but driving an SUV or sedan is 50 cents per mile or higher. The same costs that apply to operating trains, buses and planes also apply to driving a car (ie: maintenance, depreciation, taxes, interest/lease payments, fuel, etc.).

 

While a person driving themself avoids the labor costs that railroads, bus companies and airlines must pay in operating their vehicles, drivers are inert while traveling and can do little else but stare straight ahead while keeping their hands on the steering wheel. Non-business travelers can read that book they haven't had time to read, watch a DVD, write e-mails, search the Internet, sip an alcoholic beverage or take a nap. While cell phones have improved the productivity of time-conscious business travelers, they are still extremely limited in what they can do while driving. Business travelers prefer to multi-task -- something they can do more effectively, comfortably and safely on a train.

 

The inert nature of motorists has a cost, which is worsened when encountering traffic jams or other delays. Nationally, the U.S. Department of Transportation pegs the productivity lost while driving at more than $100 billion per year. On a per-capita basis, Ohioans annually lose $3 billion in having to drive themselves from place to place. And, most cars have only one occupant (the national average is 1.2 persons per car).

 

While driving with others increases the efficiency of car travel, the driver/owner doesn't achieve any cost savings unless they ask their passenger(s) for reimbursement. But, even car-pooling isn't as efficient as rail or bus travel, as an average bus traveler is nearly two times more energy efficient than a carpool traveler, while an average rail traveler is nearly four times more energy efficient than carpoolers for the same trip, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

 

KJP

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