Jump to content
Guest KJP

Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor

Recommended Posts

Kasich: Passenger rail 'is dead'

By Jon Craig • jcraig@enquirer.com • November 3, 2010

 

COLUMBUS - Barely twelve hours after winning office, Gov.-elect John Kasich said Wednesday that creating jobs, halting the statewide passenger rail project and reining in labor unions are his top priorities.

 

"Passenger rail is not in Ohio's future.. that train is dead."

 

Kasich held his briefing at the headquarters of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, which broke a 117-year tradition by endorsing the former congressman from Westerville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kasich: Passenger rail 'is dead'

By Jon Craig • jcraig@enquirer.com • November 3, 2010

 

COLUMBUS - Barely twelve hours after winning office, Gov.-elect John Kasich said Wednesday that creating jobs, halting the statewide passenger rail project and reining in labor unions are his top priorities.

 

"Passenger rail is not in Ohio's future.. that train is dead."

 

Kasich held his briefing at the headquarters of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, which broke a 117-year tradition by endorsing the former congressman from Westerville.

 

How about the jackazz that replied saying the train would cost Ohio at least 3 trillion dollars by comparing us to Utah?  Some people are amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any punishments that the feds could threaten if we don't take the money.  The country has an interest in having Ohio's neighboring states connected so I would hope that they have some leverage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any punishments that the feds could threaten if we don't take the money.  The country has an interest in having Ohio's neighboring states connected so I would hope that they have some leverage.

 

Only thing I can think of is we may have to pay back the $25 mil. which the controlling board approved for currently ongoing studies. KJP??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if maybe that is the way out.   Could he somehow take the $400,000,000.00 to fix the "freight infrastructure" and then sell leases to "private" companies to run the passenger service with "tax credits" to the operator for prividing a public service, etc., etc.? Then he could say he imposed a "market solution"  and saved the tax payers from a "direct subisdy" blah, blah, blah.

 

Interesting, but can't be done because federal grants cannot be repurposed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only thing I can think of is we may have to pay back the $25 mil. which the controlling board approved for currently ongoing studies. KJP??

 

Nope. Ohio doesn't have to give back the $25 million to conduct engineering, blueprints, etc. if it doesn't build anything. The studies for 3C are long since done. This work is about preparing for construction and operation.

 

And none of the boards at the chambers of commerce in the 3Cs have endorsed 3C Quick Start. They have supported the concept of high-speed rail, but don't seem to understand that Quick Start provides the foundation for the other. Smaller chambers have backed it, but that's it. This is a big reason why Kasich sees this as an easy target to cut without angering his political base.

 

This $400 million was provided under the FRA's Corridor Development Program which has these eligible recipients: states, compacts of states, rail agencies chartered by states, or Amtrak. And Amtrak officials have already told me they would not be a willing recipient of this money because they don't want to set a precedent for other states facing political or financial troubles to simply expect they could pawn their projects off to them.

 

No one else can receive this money to develop 3C train service. ODOT cannot be used for other purposes. And if Kasich refuses the money for 3C, it cannot be used for anything other than a rail project in another state. Given his statements earlier tonight, I still don't think he understands that. But given the anti-social, hyper-selfish tendencies of at least two of his advisors, I don't think he ever will.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cross-posted from what other states are doing with rail, due to potential parallels:

 

Millburn officials seek to pass first resolution in N.J. supporting killed ARC tunnel

 

MILLBURN – Gov. Chris Chistie may have killed the Hudson River rail tunnel, but some Millburn officials want to try and resuscitate it.

 

Township Committee member Jim Suell wants the governing body to be the first town in the state to pass a resolution in support of the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Tunnel.

 

http://www.nj.com/independentpress/index.ssf/2010/11/millburn_wonders_can_the_tunne.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is, what can the federal government do if Kasich goes ahead and spends the money on highways? Is there really anything that can really be done?

 

He can't. Ohio doesn't have the 3C money. It has been pledged to Ohio but not received until Ohio completes the engineering work now underway. Besides, no money changes hands anyway. It's all done through accounting stuff like encumbrances, etc.

 

For arguments sake, if Kasich allows the engineering to conclude, then accepts the remaining $375 million for 3C rail but then uses it for roads, then ODOT administrators (and possibly the governor if it can be proven he director them to act) will be arrested, brought up on federal charges, most likely convicted, sent to prison, the $375 million recovered and Ohio's federal highway program will be penalized with interest.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is, what can the federal government do if Kasich goes ahead and spends the money on highways?  Is there really anything that can really be done? 

 

Perhaps they could withhold future highway funds? Fines? It's federal money, and our state should follow the law and use it for its intended purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There has got to be a plan 'B' that goes beyond a public outcry from urban enthusiasts, environmental groups, transit advocates, etc.  I think that may in fact only embolden him as he has ran successfully on spiting the democrats and Obama.  It will be easy for him to paint anyone that criticizes his cancelling of the project as "the left" even if they are in fact moderates or even republicans. 

 

He has to be in danger of losing something politically if in fact he tries to kill this.  Maybe that comes from the Feds, maybe it comes from somewhere else; who knows.  IMO, though, it will mean the most in the eyes of the general public if a large portion of the business community and even the railroads themselves come out in full support of the 3C and say how much it will mean for direct job creation.  That will make Kasich look like he is turning his back on his only election platform.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, though, it will mean the most in the eyes of the general public if a large portion of the business community and even the railroads themselves come out in full support of the 3C and say how much it will mean for direct job creation. That will make Kasich look like he is turning his back on his only election platform.

 

 

Won't happen. Here's what Ohio's chief lobbyist for General Electric (you know, the folks who manufacture passenger locomotives at their huge plant in Erie, PA and have a passenger rail car assembly and repair shop near Cleveland in Cuyahoga Heights?) said to me about one month ago (this is a paraphrase): "3C isn't big enough for us to spend political capital on. We're not going to write a letter to John Kasich or Shannon Jones asking them not to cut 3C if they're elected. The only people who seem to be asking for 3C is All Aboard Ohio."

 

And the freight railroads won't ask for 3C to be saved because it will put them at a disadvantage in negotiations with the state if 3C is saved, and set a bad precedent for them in negotiations with other states for their rail passenger projects. Their "give" is letting public-sector project sponsors have access to their privately owned rights of way in exchange for ensuring that service to their freight customers is just as whole and untarnished after the passenger rail service starts as it was before it started. And you do that with capacity improvements based on simulations like those recently done by Woodside Consulting for ODOT that showed a 50 mph average speed could be had.

 

The freight railroads will gain capacity enhancements at times of the day the passenger trains are not running (mostly at night) and that will bring a measurable benefit to them. But they will never admit it.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps our country would have been better off w/out the federal interstate highway system - at least in the centralized form that it was developed (I'm Whiggish Hamiltonian federalist - so gov'ts should invest in infrastructure, but not necessarily entirely directed from D.C.). Anyway, I don't support high speed rail - I don't think the investment is worth it - esp. to get above 125 mph. However, regular, reliable, speedy rail is great and something that Ohio ought to have. Sadly, the man started in Westerville which turned its rail connection into a bikepath - maybe he's bitter about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote from Kasich's news conference (Wednesday) re: the 3C.

 

"The train is dead. I said so during the campaign. You're not going to have it."

 

So, if you believe passenger rail in the 3C is a good idea and good for Ohio's future....what are you going to do to fight for it?

 

It's not enough to preach to the choir in largely friendly forums like U-O...even though this is a great gathering place for people who care about urban and state issues. And it's way to easy to throw up one's hands and concede to the idealogues who took their cheap shots at the 3C project during the just-ended campaign.

 

Voices...like those on these web pages...need to be heard in newspapers, on radio and TV...and those who manage these local media need to hear from you as well.

 

So, I ask again....if you think the 3C passenger rail is a good idea what are you going to do to fight for it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one else can receive this money to develop 3C train service. ODOT cannot be used for other purposes. And if Kasich refuses the money for 3C, it cannot be used for anything other than a rail project in another state. Given his statements earlier tonight, I still don't think he understands that. But given the anti-social, hyper-selfish tendencies of at least two of his advisors, I don't think he ever will.

 

You are giving this guy way to much credit in assuming he doesn't understand.  It's pretty clear that he didn't even examine the issue from the perspective that you're speaking about.  He's simply doing it to be willfull, to assert himself.  This action is simply his new authority made manifest.  It's the new sheriff in town act.

 

It's not even a political 'cover your ass' move- how many Tea Party insurgents knocked off Republican incumbents in primaries in Ohio?  He's got nothing to fear from letting this go forward.  Even if he lets it go and it gets killed in the General Assembly, he's lost nothing.

 

The Republicans decided to be against rail because they either thought it would help them win votes, at least in their primaries.  You're not going to convince these people, because they have no interest in being convinced.  They have the power and the authority. 

 

The only way you could even try to get this done is to find countervailing power and authority.  If, for example, the local governments along the route could work together in lieu of the state with the feds in order to create some sort of independent and interposing authority, a public-private partnership between the railroads and the local governments that has the ability to treat with the federales for their invesment, then perhaps you could just make an end-run around the state government.  Otherwise, you're Kasiched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Convene Republican rail supporters from around the state. We do have them. Mike DeWine was a big Amtrak supporter in the Senate, and used to take family vacations on Amtrak. He likes trains and transit. Former Congressman Dave Hobson also likes trains. Former State Rep. Gene Krebs, now head of Greater Ohio, is a big transit and 3-C supporter. Consult former ORDC head Jim Seney to rally the troops for the Republican 3-C plan he presided over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spread an ad campaign like this EVERYWHERE--including buying full-pages in the Dispatch, PD, and Cinci's paper:

 

Kasich wants to keep Ohio out of the future.

Giving back stimulus funds for the 3C train that keep Ohio competitive with other states.*

If he can't see how the train will help Ohio and will kill the project,

Then who knows what other devastating things he'll do while in office.

That will increase joblessness in Ohio and watch companies move elsewhere.

IMPEACH KASICH NOW!

 

*At the bottom of the ad, present some quick, objective facts about the 3C line.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Convene Republican rail supporters from around the state. We do have them. Mike DeWine was a big Amtrak supporter in the Senate, and used to take family vacations on Amtrak. He likes trains and transit. Former Congressman Dave Hobson also likes trains. Former State Rep. Gene Krebs, now head of Greater Ohio, is a big transit and 3-C supporter. Consult former ORDC head Jim Seney to rally the troops for the Republican 3-C plan he presided over.

 

I'm thinking this is the best option.  Fight fire with fire.  "You can't beat them, join them."


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothin' wrong with that!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are giving this guy way to much credit in assuming he doesn't understand. It's pretty clear that he didn't even examine the issue from the perspective that you're speaking about. He's simply doing it to be willfull, to assert himself. This action is simply his new authority made manifest. It's the new sheriff in town act.

 

BTW, the Kasich comment I referred to last night was that he intended to speak with the railroads on how to improve them. I am going to assume this means he will also ask them if the $400 million can be used to benefit them. This is where his learning process will likely start.

 

Depending on what the freight railroads tell him, he may learn that:

 

+ $200 million of the 3C funding will pay for infrastructure (added tracks, switches, signals) that will make their rail traffic flow more smoothly.

+ $55 million of the 3C's budget will go toward improving grade crossing safety (more flashers/gates, etc) that will also benefit the freight railroads.

 

As I've stated before, there is no guarantee the freight railroads will mention this. And the conversation go could very differently. If Kasich asks the freight railroads "are you interested in passenger service?" They will probably say no. If Kasich asks "then the $400 million won't benefit you?" The freight railroads may again say no because they don't want to undermine their position in negotiations with Ohio or other states. If that is how the conversation goes, and no one else is heard by Kasich, then he will probably decline the 3C grant.

 

If there are other voices, including all of you, then good things can happen. Write e-mails, texts, and letters to the editor of your local papers and to Kasich's new policy advisor Wayne Struble and explain that:

 

"Two-thirds of 3C's grant will create a more modern, efficient and safer rail corridor for freight and passenger users between Ohio's largest cities. Most of the rest of the funding will create total transportation centers that unite rail, bus, bikes and pedestrians in the hearts of Ohio's central business districts, creating jobs at small and large businesses and promoting the kind of urban vibrancy sought by Ohio's young adults and Baby Boomers -- the nation's two largest population groups."


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ and ^^^^

 

I think the call for impeachment is a bit too firey. Sounds like extremism, and turns people off.

 

Agreed. Impeachment is the bringing of charges, not the nullification of an election or removal from office. Clinton was impeached, and he remained in office because no justification for removal could be substantiated.

 

Kasich isn't even in office yet. There has to be substantial reason to argue that he has engaged in some sort of prohibited conduct in office in order to be impeached. If there's anything in his past that would have disqualified him as a candidate, it probably would have been found and used during the campaign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WLWT.com

Supporters: Passenger Rail Not Dead Yet

Proponents Think They Can Convince Kasich To Support Plan

Reported by John London // E-mail

 

POSTED: 9:45 am EDT November 4, 2010

 

CINCINNATI -- No heads are slumped at All Aboard Ohio after Tuesday night's election results.

 

Despite the declaration by Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich that the 3C Rail Project is dead, Ken Prendergast remains optimistic.

 

The executive director of the agency told News 5 that "No one has pulled the ejection handle on 3C yet."

 

Read more at: http://www.wlwt.com/news/25631945/detail.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Change in politics means change in Ohio's plans for transportation

Posted: Nov 03, 2010 8:34 PM EDT

Updated: Nov 04, 2010 7:47 AM EDT

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

 

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Just hours after the mid-term elections, it looks like the shift in power will mean a different direction for two major transportation projects in Ohio: the Cincinnati Streetcar and the 3C passenger rail project.

 

On Wednesday, Ohio Governor-Elect John Kasich told reporters he's putting the brakes on one.

 

The rail project is a plan to take more cars off the roads, while connecting Cincinnati to Columbus and Cleveland. However, right now, Ohio's new top man says the train will not leave the station.

 

Full story at: http://www.fox19.com/Global/story.asp?S=13441869&clienttype=printable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With GOP gains, transportation projects could slow

Thursday, November 04, 2010

By Jon Schmitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

High-speed trains flew off the tracks in at least two states and prospects grew cloudier for mass transit, bike trails and transportation in general as Tuesday's election returns poured in.

 

Ohio and Wisconsin, which in January won a combined $1.2 billion in high-speed rail grants from the Obama administration, both elected governors who have vowed to stop the projects.

 

Voters in Minnesota ousted a leading advocate of increased federal transportation funding, longtime U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who had pushed a six-year, $500 billion program to improve the nation's infrastructure.

 

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10308/1100529-147.stm#ixzz14L6IsBwQ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"My hope is that when QE2 starts, the weakening dollar will cause a spike in the price of gas..."

 

Be careful what you wish for! Increasing the price of gasoline will not necessarily favor the proposed 3-C line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I searched the past two pages and didn't think that this was posted yet.  Looks like the Plain Dealer editorial board has softened their stance and become more realistic now that the election is done?  A very short statement of support is included in this editorial near the very end.

 

 

 

Kasich takes Ohio's helm: editorial

Published: Thursday, November 04, 2010, 4:31 AM

The Plain Dealer Editorial Board

 

After being elected Ohio's next governor this week, following a bare-knuckles campaign against incumbent Ted Strickland, Republican John Kasich may be wondering just why he wanted the job.

 

.........

 

In the campaign, Kasich talked about getting more dollars into elementary and secondary-school classrooms; he needs to deliver. Strickland's initiatives to expand green-energy jobs and investment in Ohio are paying off; Kasich should give them a chance to prove themselves. Likewise, it would be foolhardy to turn back $400 million in federal rail money that other states would snap up to increase their relative economic advantage.

 

......

 

Full editorial at http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/11/kasich_takes_ohios_helm_editor.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any potential for Strickland and/or the lame duck legislature to do something before the Republican wave gets inaugurated? If Ohio could commit to the funding in some sort of federal agreement, it seems more likely to happen. Strickland would really have nothing to lose, and it would certainly give him a last hurrah on the left and with moderates. Meanwhile, I can't imagine that Kasich would spend a significant amount of political capital right out the gate trying to get said agreement nullified ... It would be very high-visibility turning down of money and would give rail advocates a much higher visibility for their cause ... Two things I can't imagine he wants in his first few months. In some ways, it gives him some cover ... "I don't support this decision, but my hands are tied. In the future, Ohio will not go after this type of federal funds, etc."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what sparked that idea ...

 

Wisconsin Advances High-Speed Rail Plan

Wall Street Journal

November 2, 2010

By AMY MERRICK

 

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle's administration quietly signed a deal with the federal government over the weekend committing the state to spending the full $810 million in federal money granted for a high-speed passenger-rail line between Milwaukee and Madison.

 

The agreement could make it more difficult for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, the Republican candidate for governor, to stop construction of the rail line if he is elected. Mr. Walker made the train a key issue in his campaign, even setting up a website, NoTrain.com, dedicated to the issue. In polls, Mr. Walker has been leading his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat who supports the high-speed rail line ...

 

... More available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575590550329340266.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...