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Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor

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I never viewed 3C as a vital cog to a national system.  It was more about intra-state travel.  If a HSR line is going to be built between NYC and Chicago, I anticipate it will have to stops in Cleveland and Toledo.  It wouldn't make much sense for it not to.  I actually thought the 3C would've possibly moved that stop to CBus..... even if it took the line slightly off the path the crow flies.  Therefore, I am not too woried about Ohio being completely bypassed in any NATIONAL HSR system, but I can see CBus being completely passed over.

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The strongest contender for the NYC - Chicago HSR route at this point is Cleveland - Toledo - Fort Wayne. I believe Indiana is to get about $350K of the reallocated funds that were to go to Ohio and Wisconsin, and I hope that it will go toward whatever engineering and environmental work is needed to advance that project. The proposed route east of Fort Wayne exists mainy as ROW and the roadbed would have to be built from scratch, and westward from Fort Wayne the former PRR mainline is now owned by CSX, leased by Rail America, and operated by their wholly-owned subsidiary, Chicago Fort Wayne & Eastern. It has been low-speed single track without signals for quite a few years.

 

Now, back on topic!

 

3-C is important as an alternative to short-distance business air travel that clogs air terminals and air traffic control systems. It's also an important element in building passenger-train awareness in a population that either has never experienced it or whose memories consist of the desultory and grudging service levels provided by most eastern railroads in the years leading up to Amtrak. Awareness is a building block toward popular support for building an expanded network, including routes like Columbus - Lima - Fort Wayne - Chicago or Pittsburgh - Columbus - Dayton - Indianapolis - St. Louis. Ohio and Indiana both have local passenger rail service that exists only as incidental to long-distance trains between Chicago and east-coast cities, and uninformed, unaware taxpayers/voters can effectively obstruct efforts to build a larger network in the eastern US.

 

 

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The strongest contender for the NYC - Chicago HSR route at this point is Cleveland - Toledo - Fort Wayne. I believe Indiana is to get about $350K of the reallocated funds that were to go to Ohio and Wisconsin, and I hope that it will go toward whatever engineering and environmental work is needed to advance that project.

 

I'm not sure what Indiana's $350,000 is for, but it isn't for preliminary engineering work. Considering the length of the CTC Corridor and extent of investment likely, the PE work will likely cost tens of millions.

 

Which is why it's so important to keep the 3C's $14.9 million in federal funds here so the PE can be finished and a construction grant submitted at it conclusion. If we let the PE go away, it will cost the project's sponsor (either a JPA or a post-Kasich ODOT) about $3 million in matching funds to get it back.

 

Save the $3 million. Keep the PE money here in Ohio.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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In this economy, Ohio can't afford to turn its back on rail jobs

Saturday, December 11, 2010  02:56 AM

Columbus Dispatch Letter to the Editor

 

In his Nov. 27 letter “Passenger-rail money could be put to better use elsewhere,” state Sen. Tom Patton, R-Strongsville, called for sending federal passenger-rail money away. However, the real mistaken priorities are those of the incoming administration and Patton, which will throw away thousands of jobs in the middle of the Great Recession.

 

This action will affect Ohio’s competitiveness, accelerating the exodus of young people to states where real transportation choices exist. Opponents of the trains are misguided, since rail service will be a job-creating economic-development engine, focusing needed development in urban areas, while enhancing mobility for Ohioans.

 

Gov.-elect John Kasich has a philosophical problem with passenger trains, calling them a crazy idea. Patton, a protector of the highway lobby, browbeat those who testified in favor of the trains during 2009 Ohio Department of Transportation budget hearings.

 

Full letter at: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2010/12/11/in-this-economy-ohio-cant-afford-to-turn-its-back-on-rail-jobs.html?sid=101

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    I still think there's a bigger issue at work over Kasich's moves, and that is distribution of power. Whether the 3-C is a good idea for Ohio or not is secondary to whether or not Ohio should let some federal agency determine what goes on in Ohio.

 

    Kasich is saying "We don't want some bureaucrat in Washington telling us how to spend our money."

 

    Now, the trouble is, that once money leaves Ohio in the form of federal taxes, Ohio really doesn't have any say in how it is spent, so the $400 million wasn't Ohio's money anyway. But how can Ohio keep more money under local control by reducing federal taxes if Ohio participates in feeding on the federal treasury? In my humble opinion, this is a political move on the part of Kasich for state's rights as much or more than it is about transportation. I don't think he's as stupid as he is made out to be.

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And Ohio makes the New York Times....for all the wrong reasons...

 

More U.S. Rail Funds for 13 States as 2 Reject Aid

By MICHAEL COOPER

 

Ohio and Wisconsin’s loss of $1.2 billion in federal stimulus money for rail projects will be California, Florida and 11 other states’ gain.

 

Ohio and Wisconsin sought and won the stimulus money this year to build new rail lines to create jobs, ease traffic and help the environment. But both states elected new Republican governors last month who vowed to kill the train projects, arguing that they were boondoggles that would require annual state subsidies to operate.

 

Now both states, which have been hit hard by the economic downturn, are losing the money. The federal Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it was rescinding the $810 million that had been awarded to Wisconsin to build a train line from Milwaukee to Madison, and the $385 million that was awarded to Ohio to build a train line linking Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

 

Full story at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/us/10rail.html?_r=1&ref=us

I admit I haven't really been following this ongoing controversy that much since I no longer live in Ohio, but I read the Times story yesterday and the paragraph below jumped out at me. If these aren't really high-speed trains, how attractive would this whole operation have been anyway? (no need for anyone to answer if this has already been addressed or if the question is too uninformed on my part, but I was just wondering...)

 

re Ohio and Wisconsin: "Neither state would have gotten true high-speed trains; their incoming governors said the proposed trains would have been too slow to attract many passengers. But most of their money is being redistributed to bullet-train projects."

 

 

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Crazy how an elect who has not signed a legal document can cause such chaos. Boo hoo to the Feds for not even lettiing it play out. So these other states didn't have to re submit new proposals to receive this new money??? Something sounds illegal here.

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And Kasich's response to losing the 3C project is....?  Amazing that nothing has come from him on this yet. 

 

 

Not amazing at all.  He doesn't give a damn.  He puts on this big show quote about being "disappointed" that the $$$ can't be spent on freight rail, when the reality was that better than half the $400-million would have greatly improved a 260 mile freight rail corridor.

 

Kasich wants one trhing only....that the 3C and any other passenger rail plan should just go away. He has been that way ever since he was a Congressman and there is no reason or evidence to suggest he has changed.

 

Not to get off topic, but I think the following story points up Kasich's attitude toward passenger trains. He really seems to have a phobia about them that affects his objectivity.

 

Anyhow, the story comes from when he was a congressman. When Kasich was in Washington, a group of legislators chartered a train to take them to the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, Kasich stubbornly refused to ride and DROVE to the retreat instead.

 

This is what we are up against. :?

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The rejection of the trains is a symptom of a larger issue and that is the fact that the state government is dominated by rural and outer suburb Republicans, who are not interested in doing anything to improve the lot of those in core areas or inner ring suburbs, because those people tend to vote Democratic.

 

Those of us who are from urban areas and support bettering them will have to come to the realization that the state of Ohio is unlikely do much of anything on issues concerning core cities or inner ring suburbs. I think it's time to start finding alternatives. The state legislature is dominated by rural and outer ring suburb types who are represented by Republicans who get a lot of their campaign contributions for the highway contractors. The two go hand in hand.

 

In short, depsite the fact that 80% of Ohioans live in urban areas, we are being left out at the state level. I think it's time for us to look at alternatives which will circumvent the state government to find solutions to our issues and problems.

 

We do have a few aces to play. Most local city governments, MPO's and other organizations are dominated by Democrats and no amount of Republican redistricting at the state level will easily change that. What we have to do is start finding ways for these urban entites to work together on a common agenda.

 

Forming a Joint Powers Authority to oversee the development of intercity rail passenger service, regional and feeder bus routes and urban transit is a good way to tie these urban areas together. The formation of a bloc such as this will also create an alternative to rural and highway dominated state government.

 

The ultimate goal would be to reform the state government and by joining urban interests into a cohesive group with an agenda will push the balance of power in our favor over time.

 

I think we have to take a good look at this.

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Unfortunately, this particular idea (and for good reasons) only exacerbated the ability to cast it as city vs. suburb/rural areas. Rural and exurban Ohio are the most car-dependent areas and this wouldn't have done anything for them. Unfortunately, to build a transit system that helps them has never been particularly cost-effective anywhere (including Europe - though they more or less make it work - my sense is that those parts of the European system are the least liked by locals - reliability and the like). Interurbans my lonely heart dreams of you.

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Urban Ohioans aren't being "left out"; they opted out. Too few actually care about matters like these and let rural and suburban conservatives drag this state down, and with it, our cities. Many urban residents are very suburban/rural in their day-to-day lifestyle when it comes to transportation (car-dependent) and they don't vote on top of that. As a result, there will be virtually no large-scale progress on the transportation front in our cities and state. Where it is occurring it is a rarity, such as Cincinnati's streetcar.

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^

While there some good points in the previous two posts, I think we have to find ways to change. Otherwise, we will be letting others determine what sort of environment we live in.

 

As I see it, we have three choices:

 

a) Continue as we have - the results speak for themselves - is this what we

    want?

b) Leave Ohio - as many already are doing - better lifestyles elsewhere?

c) Try to do something to better our urban areas - Is it worth it?

 

I'm tempted to go for option b), but I really would like to see us try option c). I think Ohio's urban areas offer a lot...if issues are properly addressed. Maybe some---or a lot---of people don't care, but I think it behooves us to see who really DOES care.

 

Just imagine what could happen if this approach works. Think about that.

 

NOTE TO MODERATOR GODS: I realize this discussion should be in another thread. If you have a better place for this, please make the change or create a new thread altogether.

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^ I agree. I grew up in Ohio and never imagined myself leaving until I travelled to some other places that felt more comfortable.

 

However, I feel like a different approach might do better. The 3-C rail has been proposed and rejected many times over the last 30 years, as KJP detailed earlier.

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Who wants to join my train cult? We'll meet at various former sites of abandoned railroad stations in Ohio on full-moon nights, build a smoky fire with cotton waste soaked with a mixture of diesel fuel and journal oil, and sit around it and recite incantations to the train gods and sing train songs, and then we'll offer up a Republican as a sacrifice by tying him to the tracks just before the Lakeshore comes through, although there's often not much chance of figuring out what time that might be.

 

I was infuriated when Kasich used that word to describe us... I almost wrote a letter demanding a personal apology. 

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What's the alternative though?  I think maybe a Cincinnati-Dayton line might be doable because of the many established rail corridors and relatively short distance, but that's it.  The Cincinnati streetcar is an example of how scaling back and focusing locally can work better after the broad-reaching (and thus slave to suburban interests) Metro Moves plan died.  Still, I don't see how you can do the same for a long-distance passenger rail plan since it still has to go through the suburban and rural areas where there's no support.  The fact that those places may not care isn't so much of a factor, but that the cities that are being served (even being tax exporters) can't really afford to do such a project themselves.

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Think of it this way: A rail line like 3C leapfrogs the 'burbs (for the most part) and runs from urban center to center, tying all the local transit systems together at their strongest points. The corridor is a unifying thread for all the urban areas on the route and you don't have to kowtow to exurban interests to do this. The train may pass thru these areas, but that doesn't mean anything, since no support is being asked of them.

 

As to funding, a public-private partnership might be the best way to go (KJP is working on this). A developer could seek TIF districts at each stop and use that to help pay the cost of building and operating the system. Federal and other funds could be leveraged as well. A joint power authority could be formed to oversee this and the trains could be operated by a third party, such as Amtrak.

 

This approach could bypass state opposition entirely.

 

 

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now we're talkin!  I think there is potential for a major naming rights sponsorship of the line, something that could elevate the project from a political punchline to the envy of other states'.  Like a virgin or a google or something hip like that.  just an idea.

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Which raises the possibility of a really heavy hitter like Sir Richard Branson becoming involved, as well as major developers. Every major city has a LOT of vacant, underused land or surface lots that are prime redevelopment possibilties. The possibilities are endless, especially if gas prices go up. Under those circumstances, you sure aren't going to do any more sprawl development. You're going to concentrate in cities. Branson is already aware of the energy issue and made public statements about it. He and others should be approached.

 

 

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I think you are all way over-analyzing this.  Kasich has future political ambitions.  He was, and will again be, a Fox News guy.  He needs Fox News and Tea Party types to help him ascend the ranks of the Republican Party.  Look at what Glen Beck is doing in Southern OH.....talking (lying) about how a small town rejected Federal help.  If Kasich takes 400 mil from the Feds, what will Sarah and Glen say??  It's all politics, and it makes me want to puke.

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By the way, thanks to all of you that have, and will continue to, fight for rail.  I will be moving back to Ohio in 6-8 months and appreciate the effort!!

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I admit I haven't really been following this ongoing controversy that much since I no longer live in Ohio, but I read the Times story yesterday and the paragraph below jumped out at me. If these aren't really high-speed trains, how attractive would this whole operation have been anyway? (no need for anyone to answer if this has already been addressed or if the question is too uninformed on my part, but I was just wondering...)

 

re Ohio and Wisconsin: "Neither state would have gotten true high-speed trains; their incoming governors said the proposed trains would have been too slow to attract many passengers. But most of their money is being redistributed to bullet-train projects."

 

 

 

All of the states that are now improving passenger rail services for up to 110 mph or are building "bullet trains" have previous built and expanded 79 mph trains (like what is planned for 3C). Not only have these states seen ridership continually grow (thereby creating a political constituency for faster trains) but they have also demonstrated to the feds a capability of effective public investment.

 

Let's take a look at what these other states which are receiving "Ohio's" money have done to prove they are worthwhile federal investments. And nearly all of these states provide their own capital improvement money and ongoing operating subsidies:

 

California -- committed more than $2 billion over 34 years to create 79 mph Amtrak services on three routes:

+ Pacific Surfliner (San Diego-Los Angeles-Santa Barbara) -- Caltrans expanded train service from 5 daily trains in 1976 to 22 today (plus three times as many commuter trains over the entire route), increasing speeds to 90 mph, adding major stations and local transit connections, making this the second-busiest passenger rail route in the U.S. behind the Northeast Corridor.

+ San Joaquin (Bay Area/Sacramento-Fresno-Bakersfield) -- Caltrans expanded train service from 2 daily trains in 1976 to 12 today (plus numerous and extensive connecting bus services to off-line cities, and the Altamont Commuter Express train service to San Jose), raising average speeds over the entire route and boosting annual ridership to nearly 1 million.

+ Capitols (Bay Area-Sacramento) -- Caltrans expanded train service from four daily long-distance trains that passed through this corridor in 1991 to 36 daily today. It also enjoys connections to BART, ACE train service to Stockton and numerous connecting local transit services. Despite an average speed of 40-45 mph, ridership has since grown from zero to this being the third-busiest Amtrak route in the United States.

 

Florida -- since the 1980s the state has started several Amtrak services, attempted others but succeeded finally with a major bipartisan push from politicians and business leaders from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa.

+ In the mid-1980s FDOT sponsored the operation of a new train called the Silver Palm (Tampa-Miami) over a mix of long-distance Amtrak routes. Ridership met projections but the service was withdrawn due to conservative opposition over state spending.

+ In 1989, FDOT used federal highway maintenance of traffic funds to develop a West Palm Beach-Miami regional commuter rail service called Tri-Rail during a multi-year rebuild of I-95. FDOT bought the CSX tracks, added a second main track, built high-level bridges over navigable waterways, extended the route to 71 miles and 18 stations and now carries 16,000 passengers daily making it one of America's most heavily used regional rail services started in the past two decades.

+ In 1993 Amtrak extended its Sunset Limited from New Orleans to Orlando with FDOT financial help in rebuilding tracks and providing station facilities along the route. Due to its tri-weekly train service, it could never attract a huge ridership. After Hurricane Katrina obliterated much of its rail line through Louisiana and Alabama, the service hasn't been restored.

+ After many attempts at starting it, an Orlando-based regional rail service running 61 miles from Kissimmee to Deland finally received state approval in 2009 to move forward. The state purchased the rail line from CSX. Local and federal funds are being used to lay a second parallel track where it doesn't already exist, build 17 stations (and expand existing Amtrak stations) and acquire rolling stock. Service is projected to start in 2013 at a cost of $615 million.

 

Washington -- More than half a billion dollars in state support from Washington (and Oregon) started in 1993 for the development of the Cascades service over an existing Amtrak route linking Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle and Vanoucer. Four daily trains were expanded to 12, and annual ridership jumped from less than 200,000 on the existing trains to nearly 800,000 today despite no increase in 79 mph top speeds. The two states ordered new European-style Talgo trains that tilted through curves, helping to reduce travel times and expand ridership. Washington also added frequent Sounder regional rail service over the Cascades route from Tacoma through Seattle to Everett, as well as expanding light rail connections in Seattle. The two states won another $762 million in federal funds in 2010 to reduce travel times and increase frequencies, but no speed increase above 79 mph is imminent.

 

Oregon -- see Washington above.

 

Illinois -- For more than 30 years, IDOT has sponsored intercity passenger rail services on routes that focus on Chicago. Their biggest boost came in 2006 when the state doubled its operating subsidy to $24 million per year to double the service offerings on three routes, continue a fourth route and will now add a fifth route (see Iowa):

+ Lincoln Service (St. Louis-Chicago) -- Since the early 1980s, IDOT has provided an operating subsidy to expand service on this route, primarily to link the state capital of Springfield to state offices in Chicago, and serve numerous universities. Service remained at six daily trains until 2006 when state funding increased service to 10 daily trains, causing ridership to immediately jump 42 percent with no increase in speed from 79 mph. Additional growth of 31 percent yielded nearly 600,000 riders by 2010. This route has seen hundreds of millions of dollars in state capital improvement funds, and was awarded $1.1 billion in federal funds in 2010 to upgrade to 110 mph.

+ Quincy-Galesburg-Chicago -- state operating funding was expanded here to double the two daily Quincy 79 mph trains to four, and augment the existing four daily Galesburg-Chicago long-distance Amtrak trains (providing a total of eight daily trains Galesburg-Chicago).

+ Carbondale-Champaign-Chicago -- state operating funding was increased here to expand the four daily 79 mph trains to six daily. The state has also provided funding to improve and expand transportation centers. And it also will use federal stimulus funds to open a faster, more direct route into Chicago.

+ Hiawatha Corridor (Milwaukee-Chicago) -- state operating funding (in conjunction with Wisconsin) was provided to increase 79 mph Amtrak service from six daily trains to 16 daily. Annual ridership grew from about 200,000 to more than 700,000 despite no increase in speed.

+ Chicago Flyer (Iowa City-Quad Cities-Chicago) -- See Iowa.

 

Wisconsin -- See Illinois, Hiawatha Corridor, above.

 

Iowa -- To develop four daily 79 mph trains covering the 220-mile Iowa City-Quad Cities-Chicago (Chicago Flyer) route in 5 hours, $45 million in state capital funding was provided by Illinois, with Iowa providing $11.5 million (plus another $20 million pending). The states also received $230 million in federal funds for this service which will require an annual operating subsidy of $7 million. Service is projected to start in 2012 and carry 120,000 riders in its first year.

 

New York -- For more than 30 years, New York has provided an ongoing program to support 79 mph Amtrak service in the Empire Corridor between New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls. However this program has not been without major setbacks, including the state leading a $185 million investment program in the 1990s that track owner CSX refused to support at that time. Also the state proposed rebuilding turboliner trains which Amtrak refused to support. But the state has provided stations and rebuilt tracks that offer 110 mph speeds between Albany and Poughkeepsie. Amtrak offers 22 daily trains between New York City and Albany, with eight of those trains continuing west to the Niagara Frontier. It received $183 million in federal funds in 2010 to increase speeds from 79 to 90 mph with CSX support.

 

Maine -- After several failed attempts, Maine in 2002 started its Downeaster train service between Portland and Boston. Offering a top speed of 79 mph and eight daily trains, the service attracted nearly 300,000 riders in its first year. Today with 10 daily trains, the same 79 mph top speed but a slightly faster average speed, the Downeaster carried nearly a half-million riders in 2010. Maine DOT received $35 million in federal funding to extend the service 30 miles north to Brunswick.

 

Massachusetts -- The state-owned Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operates Boston-based public transportation, including a 12-route network of regional rail services. Some routes extend into adjoining states as well as over routes shared by Amtrak trains. The comonwealth also is partnering with Vermont and Connecticut on upgrading the Amtrak-operated 79 mph Connecticut Valley line from New Haven through Hartford, Springfield and St. Albans which is owned by the affected states.

 

Vermont -- See previous listing for Massachusetts. Vermont also provides ongoing operating subsidies for the one daily round trip Ethan Allen service to Rutland from New York City and Albany. Vermont is seeking funding to increase train speeds on its state-supported leg into Rutland up to 59 mph. A future extension to Burlington is proposed.

 

Missouri -- For 30 years, Missouri has provided ongoing operating subsidies for the four daily 79 mph Amtrak trains between St. Louis and Kansas City via the state capital of Jefferson City. These have been threatened by budget cutters numerous times. MDOT has undertaken a program of targeted capital investment to reduce travel times and improve reliability over the busy Union Pacific freight corridor. Ridership has responded, increasing 14 percent in 2010.

 

North Carolina -- despite the ignorance of Ohio Senate Transportation Committee Chair Tom Patton, the Tar Heel State doesn't depend on the Northeast Corridor for rail ridership. Indeed, of the six daily trains comprising the Piedmont Corridor service, only two travel beyond it to the Northeast. More than 350,000 ride each year between Charlotte-Greensboro-Durham-Raleigh, with another 100,000 continuing beyond Raleigh. This state-supported route started with just 122,000 riders in 1990, a phenominal growth in 20 years with no increase in the 79 mph speed. Yet nearly one hour of travel time was eliminated with targeted track and signal improvements. In January, NCDOT won $545 million in federal funds to build on that investment and offer reduced travel times, capacity for more trains and possibly a speed increase to 90 mph.

 

Indiana -- The Hoosier State sees 15 daily Amtrak funded trains from the East Coast and Michigan funneling into Chicago, but does not financially support these services. The state's support is limited to a statewide transit tax which counties in the northwestern part of the state have elected to use for the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, funding the 85-mile South Shore regional rail service from South Bend into Chicago.

 

The moral of the story from all of this? Many see only what these states are doing now, not the long, slow battle they waged to get there. And part of the battle was to build what the political capacity allowed them to build. Invariably, that meant starting out modestly with 79 mph trains and growing from there.

 

So how do you whet the political appetite for a faster train that carries a higher price tag? Give 'em a slower, more affordable train first.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Who wants to join my train cult? We'll meet at various former sites of abandoned railroad stations in Ohio on full-moon nights, build a smoky fire with cotton waste soaked with a mixture of diesel fuel and journal oil, and sit around it and recite incantations to the train gods and sing train songs, and then we'll offer up a Republican as a sacrifice by tying him to the tracks just before the Lakeshore comes through, although there's often not much chance of figuring out what time that might be.

 

I was infuriated when Kasich used that word to describe us... I almost wrote a letter demanding a personal apology. 

 

 

People/politicians like him will never apologize because they have not the spine or balls to admit when they just might be wrong. Its all about them and what they want and think should be right for the whole world all the time...behaving like a bunch of grown up selfish little children. This attitude that has hijacked the party in recent years is what has so turned me off to his party, in  general, on other issues that go far beyond. But I don't want to drag this off topic. Just saying, people like Kasich are always innocent and never make a mistake! I think I remember Morgan Freeman saying something like that about the prisoners in Shawshank.

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^

While there some good points in the previous two posts, I think we have to find ways to change. Otherwise, we will be letting others determine what sort of environment we live in.

 

As I see it, we have three choices:

 

a) Continue as we have - the results speak for themselves - is this what we

    want?

b) Leave Ohio - as many already are doing - better lifestyles elsewhere?

c) Try to do something to better our urban areas - Is it worth it?

 

I'm tempted to go for option b), but I really would like to see us try option c).

 

I'm looking at option b). With option c) only a small number of the urban population wants quality of life to improve in our cities and an even tinier, insufficient number of those people are vocal about it, which results in defaulting back to option a), so I'd honestly have to answer, "no". This is not just a major problem at state level with the 3C corridor, but also at the city level I've seen that process occur again and again without fail. Option c) has already been tried numerous times and yet we always seem to end up with the status quo.

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I was thumbing through old photos today of our cities. Rail hints are all over the photos and I thought that based on the pictures, I had to ask myself.... "Did this ACTUALLY happen here?...WAS there such a time...and did people actually know how to utilize rail lifestyles?"...and with that in mind, and based on the mentality of many towards transportation these days that has them clueless as to rail, one would think that the lifestyles portrayed in the photos I was viewing occurred thousands of years ago...and not just a lifetime and a half or so. How so much has changed in what actually, in the big picture of time, has been a short time!

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I was thumbing through old photos today of our cities. Rail hints are all over the photos and I thought that based on the pictures, I had to ask myself.... "Did this ACTUALLY happen here?...WAS there such a time...and did people actually know how to utilize rail lifestyles?"...and with that in mind, and based on the mentality of many towards transportation these days that has them clueless as to rail, one would think that the lifestyles portrayed in the photos I was viewing occurred thousands of years ago...and not just a lifetime and a half or so. How so much has changed in what actually, in the big picture of time, has been a short time!

 

The rail network was fraying around the edges for a long time, but really didn't collapse until 1967, when the Postal Service took first class mail from the trains. Up to that time, many people were acquainted train travel and about 100 million rode trains every year. The lesson here is that things can swing back in a relatively short time. Just look at the activity at train stations in places that have not had service in years.

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In the 1960s when I worked at GE in Fort Wayne, a railroad town with passenger trains on the Pennsylvania, Wabash, and Nickel Plate, most of my older co-workers had done a lot of business travel. Those guys could tell you exactly what railroads to take to get anywhere in the US or Canada, and exactly where and how you'd change trains and if necessary, stations. They knew their railroad connections right down to the train names like many business travelers know their interstates now.

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^ Exactly....and that amazes me because it was not that long ago in the bigger picture.... and travelers/commuters knew it well. For some I speak with today the idea seems an impossible unfathomable task.

 

Just a funny thought... I was in Tower City Saturday and watched the kiddie choo choo trail roll around throughout the place and thought that this may be the closet we get!  :lol:

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^ Exactly....and that amazes me because it was not long ago and travelers/commuters knew it well. For some I speak with today the idea seems an impossible unfathomable task.

 

Think about it....how many generations have grown up in Ohio just since 1971 (the year the Amtrak took over the nation's passenger trains) without having any exposure to modern passenger rail travel. For many Ohioan's, unfortunately, it has been an "out of sight / out of mind" issue. Columbus Union Station was once among the top 10 busiest stations in the Midwest...as were stations at Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton...and the busiest?.... Cincinnati.

 

All the more sad.... rail critics and our Governor-to-be have siezed on this unfamiliarity with train travel to spread their half-truths and misinformation.

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^ Exactly! And the way you describe the scene... It makes me again so surprised that such a scene could have occurred here given the current lack of exposure to it. But it is that lack of exposure of familiarity that leads us to the current lack of rail environment. Bad cycle. Can we overcome?

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  ^"...But really didn't collapse until 1967."

 

    About the same time that automobiles and the interstates really took off.

 

    True, the automobile had been around for 50 years and the interstates weren't built in a day, but the decline of passenger railroads more or less coincided with the rise in automobile travel.

 

    Today it takes less than 24 hours to drive from Ohio to Florida. In 1950, it still took several days over winding, rural highways, and without the familiar directional signs of today, it took a good map and decent map-reading skills that not everyone has. Along with highways came motor lodges or motels (as opposed to hotels,) chains of fuel stations and restaurants, and all of that. It's hard to imagine today that in the peak of the railroad era, little if any of that stuff was available.

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Think about it....how many generations have grown up in Ohio just since 1971 (the year the Amtrak took over the nation's passenger trains) without having any exposure to modern passenger rail travel. For many Ohioan's, unfortunately, it has been an "out of sight / out of mind" issue. Columbus Union Station was once among the top 10 busiest stations in the Midwest...as were stations at Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton...and the busiest?.... Cincinnati.

 

All the more sad.... rail critics and our Governor-to-be have siezed on this unfamiliarity with train travel to spread their half-truths and misinformation.

 

Actually, those lost generations are an opportunity. They are not the opponents. The opponents of 3-C are old white guys for whom trains are a thing of the past. We've got a couple of generations who have never known that past, and for them, trains are a cool part of the future. Just not Ohio's future.

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I have a one and a half year old niece who is fascinated with anything that looks or sounds like a train.  I'm 30 and I am still just as fascinated as she is.  It still runs very deep in our culture..... even in a state where one can't travel the rails like my grandfather once did.  If Kasich doesn't want to be the gov to bring rail back to Ohio, then I assure you, the next gov will.  I have many republican friends who voted for strickland solely because of this issue.  The voices will be much lounder the next election. 

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Dead in Ohio

John Kasich didn't wait for answers about the course of passenger rail

Published on Sunday, Dec 12, 2010

Akron Beacon Journal Editorial

 

In his campaign for governor, John Kasich leaped to ridicule a proposed passenger rail project for Ohio. He prevailed on Election Day, and now the federal government has withdrawn the $400 million grant to set the effort in motion. Ted Strickland accurately described the quality of the Kasich decision: It was ''uninformed,'' as was so much of the criticism heaped on the project.

 

Oh, Kasich and others sounded like they had all the answers, so confidently and dismissively declaring the concept ill-advised, unnecessary, even ''dead.'' They did the state a considerable disservice by failing to wait for answers, the first $25 million in federal money devoted, essentially, to an assessment of what would be required to achieve a passenger rail system. In that way, Kasich had much room to play the skeptic, and appropriately so. He would have done well to share his doubts, and then add: Let's wait to see what the study reveals.

 

Full editorial at: http://www.ohio.com/editorial/opinions/111743564.html

 

Killing 3C train won't derail Sharonville plans

By Steve Kemme • skemme@enquirer.com • December 11, 2010

 

SHARONVILLE - This suburban city's recently completed master plan for revitalizing its downtown includes the train station the state would build as part of its $400 million 3C passenger rail project.

 

 

Sharonville officials envision the train station raising the city's regional profile and spurring high-density residential and commercial development.

 

That's why they're very unhappy with Gov.-elect John Kasich's plan to kill the 3C rail, which would connect Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

 

"The project would be a major positive for Sharonville if it did go through," said Mayor Virgil Lovitt II, who is a Republican, like Kasich. "The light rail that has been built in other parts of the country has sparked development in the vicinity of the train stations."

 

Full story at: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20101211/NEWS0108/12120305/Sharonville-unhappy-about-derailing-3C

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Think about it....how many generations have grown up in Ohio just since 1971 (the year the Amtrak took over the nation's passenger trains) without having any exposure to modern passenger rail travel. For many Ohioan's, unfortunately, it has been an "out of sight / out of mind" issue. Columbus Union Station was once among the top 10 busiest stations in the Midwest...as were stations at Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton...and the busiest?.... Cincinnati.

 

All the more sad.... rail critics and our Governor-to-be have siezed on this unfamiliarity with train travel to spread their half-truths and misinformation.

 

Actually, those lost generations are an opportunity. They are not the opponents. The opponents of 3-C are old white guys for whom trains are a thing of the past. We've got a couple of generations who have never known that past, and for them, trains are a cool part of the future. Just not Ohio's future.

 

I wouldn't write the old white guys off as lost causes, either.  There are probably a good solid number of old white guys out there with generally favorable impressions of America's railroads, and who wouldn't be at all opposed to upgrading the ones that happen to pass through Ohio (for both freight and passenger uses).

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Think about it....how many generations have grown up in Ohio just since 1971 (the year the Amtrak took over the nation's passenger trains) without having any exposure to modern passenger rail travel. For many Ohioan's, unfortunately, it has been an "out of sight / out of mind" issue. Columbus Union Station was once among the top 10 busiest stations in the Midwest...as were stations at Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton...and the busiest?.... Cincinnati.

 

All the more sad.... rail critics and our Governor-to-be have siezed on this unfamiliarity with train travel to spread their half-truths and misinformation.

 

Actually, those lost generations are an opportunity. They are not the opponents. The opponents of 3-C are old white guys for whom trains are a thing of the past. We've got a couple of generations who have never known that past, and for them, trains are a cool part of the future. Just not Ohio's future.

 

I wouldn't write the old white guys off as lost causes, either.  There are probably a good solid number of old white guys out there with generally favorable impressions of America's railroads, and who wouldn't be at all opposed to upgrading the ones that happen to pass through Ohio (for both freight and passenger uses).

Like the mayor of Sharonville!

 

Actually, I don't know if he is old or white, but he's a Republican from suburban Cincinnati.

 

Edit: Old & white confirmed!!!

http://www.ci.sharonville.oh.us/images/council/LovittMayor.jpg

(Too big to insert.)

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