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Ohio Hub/Midwest Regional Rail/ORDC

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Riverviewer,

 

Another funny thing is that, in order to get a fast train from Cincy to D.C., the route would likely go through Dayton, Columbus, Pittsburgh and possibly to Harrisburg, before turning south to Baltimore and D.C. The reason is topography and enroute population. The only city of any consequence on the existing Amtrak route from Cincy to D.C. is Charleston WV -- enough said. Plus, re-engineering the existing railway for highway-competitive speeds (avg speed of 60-65, means a top train speed of 79-90 mph) would be obscenely expensive. On the route from Cincy to D.C. I'd mentioned above, via Pittsburgh, would take between 9-10 hours, at an average speed of about 80 mph, assuming a top speed of 110 mph.

 

In the meantime, let me suggest driving to Manassas, Virginia (west of D.C.) and catching a Virginia Railway Express commuter train to Union Station. It has a better selection of scheduled departures throughout the day compared to another alternative, driving to Martinsburg/Harper's Ferry WV, or Brunswick/Frederick MD northwest of D.C. and taking the Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) train into D.C. Here's a link to check out the options for both systems....

 

http://www.commuterpage.com/rail.htm

 

KJP

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too bad amtrak is so crummy for ohioans that needs to change and the ohio rail project will play a big part in that.

 

i was about to say, park and ride is the answer to riverviewer's very real dilemma. esp if he would not need or want to bother with a car in downtown dc ----- park and ride could be an excellent option.

 

other than the train schedules the only issue when planning such a trip would be how to make sure their is adequate long term parking near any particular station.

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I tend to have a hard time sleeping on the train...

 

Did you know that U.S. railroads are carrying more freight (in ton-miles, the shipping industry standard of volume) today than at any time in their history? Yet, they're are doing it with less track, less fuel and fewer employees, but with larger rail cars, more powerful locomotives, and more hi-tech signaling and tracking systems. Few people are aware of what they've been able to do, and without governmental subsidy ever since Conrail took its last federal nickel in the early 1980s.

 

KJP

I have difficulty sleeping on the train, too, but it's mostly because I'm such a "foamer" that every time the train stops during the night, I wake up and raise the blind to see what's going on. I've even been known to sleep in my clothes, so that I can step off the sleeping car onto the platform at those late-night stops. So long as the train keeps rolling, though, I usually sleep like a baby. Ever since I was a little kid, I've always felt something soothing in the motion of wheels on rails.

 

The performance and productivity of the freight railroads are indeed impressive, especially considering that they have to compete against the generous subsidies that the trucking industry enjoys in the form of federal, state, and local infrastructure funding. Imagine what a dynamic rail industry we could have if the playing field were leveled by privatizing the Interstate Highway System!

 

 

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I must reluctantly agree - while I understand and agree with all of the arguments about the hidden costs of driving, Joe Traveller doesn't, and $95 is going to go over like a frigging lead balloon. Personal economics are driven by perceived value, and those figures just simply don't jive. This is just pissing in the wind unless fares can be brought into the $50 range.

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*NEWS RELEASE*                                                                 March 23, 2005

 

 

Coalition urges Governor Taft to invest in Ohio jobs and protect the environment

 

Labor and environmental alliance pushes for full funding of Ohio Hub proposal

 

Columbus, OH - Political paths intersected today as members of Ohio's labor unions and environmental organizations called on Governor Taft to fully fund the economic impact study for the Ohio Hub proposal and to secure state and federal funds to expedite the regional train system.

 

"The choice between good jobs and the environment is a false one," said Dave Caldwell of the United Steelworkers of America and Central Ohio AFL-CIO President.  "In a state where we've lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, we need to find real solutions to put Ohioans back to work, protect the environment, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil -- the Ohio Hub would do all three."

 

Preliminary estimates indicate that the construction and operation of the Ohio Hub will create 6,600 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent rail operating jobs. An additional 6,000 jobs would be created from other hub related services such as restaurants, office buildings and retail according to a report prepared by the Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc. and HNTB, Inc. in October 2004 for the Ohio Rail Development Commission and the Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation. In addition, estimates also show that the Ohio Hub will increase property values by $1 billion and increase annual tax revenues by $28 million according to Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc.

 

"Studies show that children who live within 250 yards of a road with 20,000  or more vehicles per day are eight times more likely to get leukemia and six times more likely to get other cancers," said Marilyn Wall of the Sierra Club Ohio Chapter. "If Governor Taft truly has the economic and health interests of Ohio working families at heart, he will fully fund the hub proposal."

 

The Blue Green Alliance is a coalition of Ohio unions and environmental groups whose goal is to build a stronger, more secure future for Ohio by working together to achieve a strong economy, a cleaner environment, and a safer world.  The Blue Green Alliance represents 635,000 Ohioans and coalition members include the Ohio AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, United Steelworkers of America, the Ohio Farmers Union, Ohio League of Conservation Voters, the Ohio Environmental Council, Policy Matters Ohio, Ohio Public Interest Research Group, and the Apollo Alliance.   

 

Good Jobs * Clean Environment * Safer World

 

For More Information:           Jennifer Kuhlman, USWA (319) 230-5418

                                           Ellen Hawkey, Sierra Club (614) 461-0734

                                           Maurice Henderson, USWA  (412) 562-2281

                                           Kent Darr, Ohio AFL-CIO (614) 224-8271

 

###

 

 

 

 

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Please mark your calendars for the following public meetings for the Ohio Hub:

 

Youngstown – Thursday, April 21st  -- time and location TBD

Cleveland – Thursday, May 5th – 2:30 to 4:30 pm (Business and community leaders) and 5:30 to 7:30 pm (general public), tentatively at NOACA

There will be no public meeting in Dayton during this round of public outreach.

 

I’ll let you know as soon as locations are confirmed.

 

Our objective is to wrap up all meetings and have a final report to distribute by May 31st. (We’ll have a shorter fact sheet version that recaps the highlights.)

 

Thanks for all your help to support these efforts.

 

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Great news from the 3/31/05 Cincinnati Business Courier:

 

 

Rail commission receives five-year grant

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation has committed $500,000 to the Ohio Rail Development Commission over the next five years.

 

The rail commission will use the money to study whether building a regional system of passenger rail lines - dubbed Ohio Hub - is feasible.

 

The hub would be centered on Cleveland, with a line running through Columbus and Dayton down to Cincinnati. Other lines would run to Toledo, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, N.Y. The hub is intended to link up with other proposed hubs in the Midwest, Northeast and Canada.

 

"ODOT's support, for the first time, gives (the rail commission) a consistent level of planning funds to work with and we appreciate that," said Jim Seney, the commission's executive director, in a press release.

 

The money comes from ODOT's federal funding. The rail commission is an independent agency housed within ODOT.

 

© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.

 

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2005/03/28/daily42.html

 

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Hey KJP, 500K sounds like a good amount of money...is it?

Or is it hush money to appear like they are looking into it, but not seriously.

 

Ain't I cynical

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It's a good deal. This is what the ORDC was hoping for some months ago, but it looked like it wasn't going to happen. Some interest groups spoke up and rattled some cages and now the planning is, gulp...back on track.

 

KJP

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A couple things:

 

on the positive: Thanks mrnyc for raising the Q and, thanks KJP, as usual, you're on top of it (why can't the pols/state transit brokers think more like you and less like the Bushies?  oops, I forgot, we're in THE state that put Bush over the top, esp downstate -- sorry, downstate neighbors and erstwhile contributors to this board, for the little poke). 

 

One Q regarding KJP’s excellent photo album: instead of building a new freestanding station, why not combine the Hopkins airport Amtrak option with the Brookpark Rapid station, which is about to get started rebuilding its surprisingly smart hotel/restaurant/parking garage TOD station, about a mile or so northeast of the airport (terminal).  At such a combined station Amtrakers could detrain, stay over at the hotel or simply transfer for the one-station, 3-min ride into the airport?  Seems like combining forces here would make more sense than building a separate Amtrak station across Ohio Rte 237 where separate moving ramp and roadway connections would have to be built to shuttle passengers into the air terminal.  Your thoughts?

 

Finally, the negative:

 

on the rail 'racial/scare' line raised earlier; along those lines, isn’t it funny/strange that, here in Cleveland, the powers that be in our excellent, high-density Little Italy neighborhood have been mysteriously silent after the City implemented its ridiculous recent traffic light removal program along busy Mayfield which partially has converted the slow-moving, walkable Mayfield commercial ("Main Street") spine into a speedway?  Aren't these LI leaders supposed to be hypersensitive about traffic issues, like, er, that erstwhile, highly sensible relocation of the Euclid-E.120 Rapid Station project?  Of course, if the real reason for the objection isn't really the "traffic" problem (much like Berea's similar cry when it halted RTA's plan to extend the Red Line a few miles south into the burb from Hopkins a few years back), but really all those criminal Blacks from E. Cleveland and Cleveland, and, ... well, you know… and to think, I always thought of college-town Berea to be a cut above on the progressive scale of things... oh well, (sigh).

 

 

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The Brookpark station site might work if it wasn't at the throat of Norfolk Southern's  Rockport Yard. Now, if a passenger-only track could be wedged into that web of tracks, then it might be doable. That would probably be very expensive. But, there is room for a passenger-only track across from the airport's long-term parking deck, where a passenger train can stop without interfering with the freight train traffic, which is extensive in this area. So, why not do this to create an air-rail transfer without involving a third connection?

 

As you probably know, the more times a traveler has to transfer, the less likely you're going to attract them as a customer. Cleveland Hopkins Airport is one of the few places in the country where a plane-to-intercity train connection can be made under one roof, without spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make it possible. I suspect the connection I proposed would cost less than $30 million, and a bare-bones version might cost less than $15 million.

 

As for Little Italy, I agree with you 100 percent. Sometimes, I think urban communities are so busy fighting off the bogeyman that they don't realize they're being distracted from real threats to keeping their communities viable.

 

KJP

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The public will have an opportunity to give in input on plans for developing railroad passenger and freight services in Ohio at a presentation by the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The "Ohio Hub" plan would use existing funds to make $3.5 billion worth of improvements over many years to address freight train traffic congestion and provide high-speed passenger rail services to boost Ohio's economy.

 

The public can attend the presentation at any time between 5:30 and 7:30 PM, Thursday May 5, at the offices of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), at 1299 Superior Avenue, in downtown Cleveland. For more information, call NOACA at (216) 241-2414 or visit the ORDC's website at:

 

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/Programs/Passenger/Ohio%20Hub%20Page.htm

 

or the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers' site at:

 

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

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OHIO HUB WHISTLE STOP SEEKING RESIDENTS' INPUT

May 5, 2005

By KEN PRENDERGAST

Staff Writer

 

With Ohio’s economy flat, energy prices rising, and airlines in descent, some say now is the time get long-discussed plans for fast passenger trains up to speed.

 

A state agency agrees and is moving such plans forward. Called the “Ohio Hub,” the plan also is adding freight train projects to the mix to deal with worsening freight traffic congestion.

 

In recent months, the Ohio Rail Development Commission has been seeking public input on its Ohio Hub plan, from all corners of the state. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. today, it’s Greater Clevelanders’ turn to offer comment. A public meeting will be held at the offices of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, 1299 Superior Ave., in downtown Cleveland.

 

Past plans, though showing much promise, got derailed during the political process in Columbus. This time, state officials say they’re more interested in a modest, five-route system in which passenger trains stay below 110-mph and use existing railroad corridors. All but one of those routes would pass through Cleveland. Past plans sought an all-new network of “bullet trains,” requiring new taxes to pay for them.

 

The Ohio Hub plan, built over a period of nine years, would cost about $3.32 billion, but wouldn’t require a tax increase, said ORDC Executive Director Jim Seney. He said the proposed Ohio Hub system would use state, local and private funds to leverage federal transportation dollars.

 

“It is the second greatest ground transportation system planned for Ohio since the birth of the Interstate Highway System,” Seney said.

 

President George W. Bush proposes to slash federal funding for Amtrak, the passenger railroad. But, a number of high-ranking Republicans in Congress said they want to increase federal assistance to $60 billion for freight and high-speed passenger rail projects.

 

One of those is Cleveland-area Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-14, who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives’ Railroad Subcommittee. He said his bill, the Railroad Infrastructure Development and Expansion Act for the 21st Century (RIDE 21), would provide federal funds for the Ohio Hub, among other projects.

 

“It’s clear from the size and scope of the bill that we recognize the vital role railroads play in our national transportation system,” LaTourette said.

 

The 860-mile Ohio Hub system of freight and passenger rail corridors would serve 22 million people in Ohio, five neighboring states and Ontario. Fast passenger trains would pause at 32 stations, including downtowns, airports and smaller cities.

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation said freight railroads are already turning away customers because their rail lines are too crowded, and can’t afford to build enough tracks. At current trends, ODOT predicts that rail traffic in Ohio will increase 70 percent by 2020.

 

Seney said the Ohio Hub would create more than 14,000 jobs and pump billions of dollars into Ohio’s economy. Additional tracks, signal systems, road overpasses and other facilities would be built along existing rights of way to increase each railroad’s carrying capacity.

 

The Ohio Hub plan would target existing routes from Cleveland to Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati; Toledo and Detroit; Youngstown and Pittsburgh; plus Buffalo, Hamilton and Toronto. Seney said the Ohio Hub would bridge the gap between regional rail systems centered on Chicago and the Northeast Corridor.

 

Ohio Hub trains are projected to carry more than 4 million people and several hundred million tons of freight per year. Business, labor and environmental leaders said Ohio Hub trains would remove thousands of cars and tens of thousands of trucks from congested Ohio roads each day. That would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy, they said.

 

“The choice between good jobs and the environment is a false one,” said David Caldwell of the United Steelworkers of America, and president of the Central Ohio AFL-CIO. “In a state where we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, we need to find real solutions to put Ohioans back to work, protect the environment, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The Ohio Hub would do all three.”

 

In March, ORDC received a $500,000 pledge from the Ohio Department of Transportation to advance planning work for the Ohio Hub, to evaluate its economic and environmental impacts. Once that stage of planning is complete, the Ohio Hub would be eligible to begin receiving federal funding for engineering and construction, Seney said.

 

END

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KJP -- do you have an agenda for this meeting?  Two hours seems like a long time to just listen to public comments.  Is someone presenting the Ohio Hub Plan first, then taking comments?

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sorry to be negative, but let me guess how this will play out. nocoa will be all for it. then they will back down and bury it when some local politician objects. that agency does not need creativity, it needs a spine. they could do a lot more pr than offer space for a meeting!

 

still, i'm hopeful the public and ordc keep those irons to the fire with the state & feds on this!!!

 

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Ok, so the meeting is officially over and you've all had enough time to commute home...so, how'd it go? 

 

I feel like I've heard this conversation for years, though, and I can't really envision this administration (Bush/Taft) being the ones to push it forward.  I'll try to stay optimistic, though!

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With gas prices soaring as they are (and some say Dubya's artificially behind this to get public opinion behind a go-ahead for his much sought after Alaska drilling plan), we really need to stick this excellent plan in Taft/Bush/ODOT's face.  Get public sympathy on our side.  No longer can the naysayers claim we're trying to shove a gold-plated Maglev or even bullet train (which made sense to me) down their throats.  This is conventional diesel rail using proven technology in heavily populated corridors that have too-long been neglected -- it will be done only with some upgrades to roadbeds that already exist.

 

How can anyone with a brain in their head be against this smart plan in these crazy times?

 

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I was pretty disappointed by the meetings (I attended both the 2:30 and 5:30 installments). At the other public meetings around the state, there was good media coverage beforehand, and so more than 100 people showed up at these, including in lil' ol' Youngstown (but perhaps 40-50 at each of the Cleveland events).

 

Also, at the other meetings around the state, there were lots of elected officials or their representatives, but only three total attended the two Cleveland meetings (Lorain County Commissioner Betty Blair, the mayor of University Heights and someone else whom I've never heard of before). At the Columbus meeting, there were several dozen elected officials who were enthused by what they heard. Cleveland officials heard nothing because they weren't there. That cannot be blamed on the local media however, since most elected officials were mailed an invitation using NOACA's mailing list.

 

Even wonder why Cleveland is in the shape it's in? Because local officials and the media here are asleep or might groggily say "this won't happen in my lifetime." Of course, they're right....because they're already "dead" or at least their passion is!

 

KJP

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Seems Cincinnati's council is a little slow. Taft agreed to fully fund ORDC last winter, and ODOT agreed in April to fund the economic impact study. Not sure about the status of the environmental impact study. But council's resolution is appreciated!

 

KJP

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does ORDC mean ohio rail development commission? i just wanted to be sure. also is there anything i or anyone else can do to get this project going. i am a full fledged conservative reupublican and i would fully support a tri-city rail system. i just dont see why more prominent republicans support rail. rail is much better than building more lanes on freeways, especailly on I-71. i just hope this does not fall through the cracks. any more information would be greatly appreciated.

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Seems Cincinnati's council is a little slow. Taft agreed to fully fund ORDC last winter, and ODOT agreed in April to fund the economic impact study. Not sure about the status of the environmental impact study. But council's resolution is appreciated!

 

KJP

 

Is there federal funding that may be needed?  The resolution mentioned that as well.

 

I think you're right about them being a little slow.  I think this think came up last year at some point and they just got around to putting their official stamp of approval on it.

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I learned today that the planner who's been the Ohio Hub point-man for the Ohio Rail Development Commission made a presentation last week before Cincy council. I was told his presentation is what got council to finally pass the resolution.

 

KJP

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High-speed rail plan introduced

 

By BRANDON GLENN

 

2:01 pm, September 1, 2005

 

 

 

Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell and U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette unveiled rough plans for a high-speed passenger rail system that would connect Cleveland to Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

 

But the discussion was long on hope and short on details.

 

Rep. LaTourette said the line would cost about $1million per mile of high-speed rail track.

 

He said the federal government would cover 80% of the costs, while state and local governments and other sources would have to come up with the other 20%.

 

 

When asked why this rail proposal, unlike previous ones, could happen, Mayor Campbell responded, “For the first time we see real leadership from the federal government. There’s a groundswell of support to get this done.”

 

“Absolutely, this is doable,” she said later. “I think this is exciting. It’s more than doable.”

 

Rep. LaTourette said a bill, called Ride 21, was making its way through the U.S. Congress. The bill would support $60 billion of rail construction over 10 years that would be a “beginning price tag.”

 

“It would be a good first step,” he said.

 

When asked when the plan might come to fruition, Rep. LaTourette said, “The trains’ll roll as soon as we get the money to pay for them.”

 

Rep. LaTourette drew the loudest reaction during the City Hall press conference when he said, “Can you imagine anything better than taking the train to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, watching the Browns beat the Steelers and coming back to Cleveland?”

 

Considering the Steelers posted a 15-1 record last year while the Browns were 4-12, Rep. LaTourette’s response may have given the greatest indication of how far away the plan is from becoming reality.

 

 

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Fabulous.

 

Now we're acting like a real WORLD CLASS city creating its own economy.

 

However, we must make sure we have a regional rail system in place to service the eight counties of NE Ohio.

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Here is the press release of All Aboard Ohio (the group formerly known as the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers)...   KJP

__________________

 

 

A L L  A B O A R D  O H I O

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       Contact:  Dominic Liberatore

September 1, 2005                                                              Executive Director

                                                                                         (614) 204-4628

 

All Aboard Ohio praises Cleveland Mayor Campbell for endorsing high-speed rail

 

CLEVELAND -- All Aboard Ohio, a nonprofit organization, gratefully welcomed today’s endorsement by Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell of an achievable plan to develop high-speed rail service in Ohio and adjoining states. She was joined by longtime rail supporter Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Painesville), chair of the House Railroad Subcommittee, in advocating for high-speed rail as the next big transportation investment for Greater Cleveland.

 

The detailed plan, called the Ohio Hub, is proposed by the Ohio Rail Development Commission to be built in phases, beginning with 79-mph trains using existing, high-quality freight tracks to Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Toronto and Chicago. Cleveland will be the hub of a network of rail services, with train speeds safely increased to 110 mph with additional investments in infrastructure. For links to the Ohio Hub plan and maps, visit www.allaboardohio.org.

 

Both Campbell and LaTourette said the 21st-century rail network would create thousands of new jobs, increase mobility and provide an affordable travel choice in an era of rising gas prices.

 

“The success of the plan depends on having the endorsement of Cleveland’s mayor, since Cleveland will be the focal point of the Ohio Hub,” said Dominic Liberatore, executive director of All Aboard Ohio. “We are grateful to Mayor Campbell for her endorsement of a rail system that will bring Northeast Ohio into the 21st century. We are entering an era when regions reap the greatest economic rewards by being smarter in their use of natural resources.”

 

Liberatore similarly praised Rep. LaTourette for his ongoing commitment to improving passenger rail services. Most notably, Rep. LaTourette recently introduced House Bill 1631, called the Railroad Infrastructure Development and Expansion Act for the 21st Century (RIDE 21) which would provide $60 billion in federal funding for high-speed passenger rail and freight railroad infrastructure nationwide.

 

All Aboard Ohio, formerly the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers, advocates for passenger rail and transit improvements as part of an interconnected, multi-modal transportation system for all Ohioans.

 

END

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I think its great that the Mayor of Cleveland is showing intrest in High Speed Rail, but Realistically... how aggressively is the state of Ohio and the City of Cleveland going to persue this idea?

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Being relatively close to the Ohio Plan, I can tell you not only is it a solid and reasonable plan, but it is getting some serious legs among our Congressional delegation and with some key state legislators.  Call your state and federal reps and let them know how you feel.

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I think its great that the Mayor of Cleveland is showing intrest in High Speed Rail, but Realistically... how aggressively is the state of Ohio and the City of Cleveland going to persue this idea?

 

As aggressively as they think we want them to. Noozer's right... send an e-mail or call.

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Yes, by all means, do contact them. Particular attention is needed on state legislators....

 

http://www.house.state.oh.us/

http://www.senate.state.oh.us/

 

And, by the way, I've pondered a way to get intercity high-speed trains back into Tower City Center. It would require relocating the Red Line off the Cuyahoga Viaduct. Instead, it would have go north on West 25th Street (post light-rail conversion) either as a streetcar or as a subway. Then use the subway deck of the Detroit-Superior bridge to regain access to Tower City. The Waterfront Line would have to have at least one of its access tracks realigned. Perhaps the Waterfront Line needs just one access track to Tower City?

 

That would avail the track spaces necessary for intercity high-speed rail to enter Tower City. I think six through tracks and three platforms would be sufficient. Half of the underground parking deck where the tracks used to be would have to be ripped out, with a replacement parking deck likely built above the old railroad coach yard, which today is the open-air parking lot between Tower City and Canal Road.

 

I suspect that all of this would probably cost at least $200 million and maybe as much as $600 million. This doesn't include access tracks from the east and west sides, but at least the right of way is still there. Mostly anyways. Nothing is impossible as long as someone can be found to write a check that's got enough numerals on it!

 

KJP

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Though exact station locations won't be determined until the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) stage, it is generally thought that the station would be located along the Lakefront, close to where it is now.  That's also been mentioned as being part of a downtown convention center project, but all of this is very much up in the air.

 

One of the important pieces of land (possibly more important than a station location at this point) is the former Conrail E. 26th Street yard, from which Ohio Hub trains would be stored, serviced and then staged into the 3-C Corridor and the other corridors.  ORDC is currently working with local officials and ODOT to make sure the yard is not overrun by a planned highway exit and and entrance ramp that's part of the realignment of Dead Man's Curve on I-90.  This is another area where advocates need to make their voices heard with Mayor Campbell's office.  If the yard is lost, so is the only place currently known to stage corridor trains easily in to all of the planned corridors.

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Very true. I didn't mean to give the impression that Tower City would be the station for the Ohio Hub System...not when restoring a single train station would cause the Ohio Hub system's total $3.2 billion cost to rise by as much as 15 percent!

 

I'm pretty sure I've posted this image on the forum before, but for those who haven't seen it yet, here it is again. This was a rendering developed by an RTA consultant who conducted an analysis of sites for a North Coast Transportation Center....

 

Cleveland%20lakefront%20rendering%20MBC%202-27-01%20(1).jpg

 

Here's some other images of potential station designs for a lakefront station that were part of an early concept for the convention center expansion....

 

ConvCtrLevel650-2.jpg

 

ConvCtrLevel620-2.jpg

 

ConvCtrLevel580-2.jpg

 

Plus, here's some images of the East 26th Street Yard (what's left of it) that Noozer spoke of. If the original, much larger yard was restored, it should have the capability for handling the storing and servicing of all Cleveland-based Ohio Hub trains, even at full build out....

 

E26aerialangle.jpg

 

E26aerialangle2.jpg

 

E26aerialangle3.jpg

 

E26aerialangle4.jpg

 

E26aeriallarge.jpg

 

E26Eground1S.jpg

 

E26Eground3S.jpg

 

E26Wground9S.jpg

 

I hope this helps provide a little more focus to the vision and the plan. If not, just let Noozer or me know.

 

KJP

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I too like Tower City as a rail terminal, but not at that expense, ... and I just don't mean dollars & cents.  Your proposal would seriously hamper the Red Line in rerouting it miles out of the way and turning it into a partial street trolley and that's not something I'm willing to even faintly consider...

 

... on the other hand, I've warmed to the idea of the lakefront station because of all the potential TOD/convention center/hotel, etc., at that site.

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KJP questions:

 

1) does the Midwest Amtrak plan, per se, mean we will get some sort of commuter rail in Greater Cleveland along Amtrak's upgraded tracks?

 

2) If so, what entity would run it?  (as RTA ends at the county line).

 

3) Has commuter rail been discussed as a factor, perhaps, getting locals interested in the Amtrak plan? and

 

4) wouldn't the idea of a bi-level super North Coast terminal/station (perhaps w/ TOD) be advanced by the presence of commuter rail (along w/ Amtrak and the Rapid),... and if this approach isn't being used, shouldn't it?

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This would be a situation where a California-style "joint powers authority" would be a good idea.  The Capital Corridors between Sacramento and the Bay Area is such a JPA and it is actually run by two transit authorities.  It operates very well and is steadily increasing ridership in one of the most car-dominated states in the nation.

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