Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest KJP

Columbus-Lima-Fort Wayne-Chicago passenger rail

Recommended Posts

Instead of spending $1.3 billion to build a new line, why not spend x amount and add a train in the morning to Chicago, that's all I want.  :-D

 

That's $1.3 billion to rebuild the existing rail line to a condition where it could once again accommodate 100+ mph trains. Even rebuilding the rail corridor to allow a 79 mph top speed so you could get to Chicago in 5.5 hours would cost a pretty penny. Why?

 

This is what the rail line looks line in Ada, Ohio. This was once a double-tracked railroad which hosted 100 mph streamliners between Chicago and the East Coast. Now it's a 10-30 mph railroad owned by CSX which leases it to a regional railroad called  Chicago Ft Wayne and Eastern Railroad (CF&E). But the line is still active which, when it comes to regulatory and environmental impact issues, is an important advantage over reactivating inactive or abandoned rights of way....

 

10905160044_5333e313b0_b.jpg

 

 

These are tracks used by Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited which travels at 79 mph (with some 110 mph running in New York state) between Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-New York City. Note the continuous welded rails, the extra hardware bolting the rails to the new wooden ties, the well-tamped ballast and the train is banking into these curves. It takes a lot of care and maintenance to elevate the outer rail through a curve so trains can operate as fast as possible through a curve. This kind of right of way will get you a 79 mph cruising speed for passenger trains....

 

10905131314_982c678e29_b.jpg

 

 

And then you have this, which is what is being sought for Columbus-Chicago. This is the newly rebuilt Chicago-St. Louis line through Springfield, IL. The track was completely rebuilt with concrete ties, fresh and tamped ballast, four-quad gates at all crossing in 110 mph territory, and advanced rail traffic control signal systems that interact with the locomotive's controls so that if the engineer is late in responding to a signal, the traffic control system will stop the train. Such a system is needed in the USA for a train to exceed 79 mph (in Canada, the threshold is 100 mph and in the UK its 125 mph). Anyway, $4 million per mile will turn the right of way seen in the first photo into the one seen below....

 

10905311213_118e85c037_b.jpg

 

 

OK, one more. This is the line between Chicago and Detroit. Amtrak owns half of it and Michigan DOT owns the other half. MDOT is upgrading the entire line from 79 mph to 110 mph for about $600 million, including this section west of Kalamazoo. Note again the concrete ties which are heavier and require less maintenance than wood ties. Because they are heavier, they can hold the tracks more tightly in place than wooden ones. And any variation in the alignment of the track will be noticed a lot more at 110 mph than at 79 mph. So that's why concrete ties are preferred for fast train routes. Also note the four-quad gates -- as compared to the usual practice of having flashers/gates in two of the quadrants of the road-rail crossing. This keeps vehicles from driving between lowered gates, which happens with stunning frequency and stupidity....

 

10906931185_68fcafd7fa_b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hot off the interwebs from Columbus Underground:

 

MORPC Exploring Feasibility of Chicago-Columbus High Speed Rail

By: Walker Evans, Columbus Underground

Published on November 21, 2013 - 11:05 am

 

As it turns out, a change.org petition is sometimes all it takes to make some changes.  In October, we reported that local alternative transportation advocacy group Transit Columbus had published an online petition to encourage the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) to further explore the feasibility of a new high speed rail corridor running from Columbus to Chicago.

 

The group has managed to collect over 5,100 signatures (and still counting) and today, they received a response from MORPC.

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/morpc-exploring-feasibility-of-chicago-columbus-high-speed-rail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news from @NIPRArail:

 

Passenger Rail On Track For Environmental Study

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

December 10, 2013

 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – The idea of high speed passenger rail is chugging further down the track as Fort Wayne City Council unanimously passed a resolution to fund an environmental impact study for the project.

 

Now City Council will recommend the Henry Administration take $200,000 from the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) fund for a Tier I environmental impact study.

 

In the original proposal from Councilman Geoff Paddock (D – 5th District) the $200,000 would be taken from Legacy Fund. However, many council members didn’t favor the idea. Tuesday night, the proposal had been redrafted and Councilman Russ Jehl (R – 2nd District) teamed up with Paddock to help raise private funds to contribute to the cost of the study.

 

Fort Wayne is one of 10 cities included in the high speed rail route from Columbus, Ohio to Chicago.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/Passenger-Rail-On-Track-For-Environmental-Study-235339921.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news from @NIPRArail:

 

Passenger Rail On Track For Environmental Study

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

December 10, 2013

 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – The idea of high speed passenger rail is chugging further down the track as Fort Wayne City Council unanimously passed a resolution to fund an environmental impact study for the project.

 

Now City Council will recommend the Henry Administration take $200,000 from the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) fund for a Tier I environmental impact study.

 

In the original proposal from Councilman Geoff Paddock (D – 5th District) the $200,000 would be taken from Legacy Fund. However, many council members didn’t favor the idea. Tuesday night, the proposal had been redrafted and Councilman Russ Jehl (R – 2nd District) teamed up with Paddock to help raise private funds to contribute to the cost of the study.

 

Fort Wayne is one of 10 cities included in the high speed rail route from Columbus, Ohio to Chicago.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/Passenger-Rail-On-Track-For-Environmental-Study-235339921.html

 

"Chugging" Will that word ever die?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news from @NIPRArail:

 

Passenger Rail On Track For Environmental Study

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

December 10, 2013

 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – The idea of high speed passenger rail is chugging further down the track as Fort Wayne City Council unanimously passed a resolution to fund an environmental impact study for the project.

 

Now City Council will recommend the Henry Administration take $200,000 from the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) fund for a Tier I environmental impact study.

 

In the original proposal from Councilman Geoff Paddock (D – 5th District) the $200,000 would be taken from Legacy Fund. However, many council members didn’t favor the idea. Tuesday night, the proposal had been redrafted and Councilman Russ Jehl (R – 2nd District) teamed up with Paddock to help raise private funds to contribute to the cost of the study.

 

Fort Wayne is one of 10 cities included in the high speed rail route from Columbus, Ohio to Chicago.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/Passenger-Rail-On-Track-For-Environmental-Study-235339921.html

 

The problem is a study is a Long, Long, way from reality. We have had rail studies here in Cincinnati going back some 20 years. But that is all they have been - studies, not a single rail line has been built. The Cincy Streetcar is still under fire as being an unsustainable entity from an operational cost standpoint. I view a rail line from Columbus to Chicago as being out the outside of reality. Enough patrons in cities like Lima, Ohio and Fort Wayne, Indiana to support a passenger line? Come on, you are dreaming.

 

"Chugging" Will that word ever die?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is a study is a Long, Long, way from reality. We have had rail studies here in Cincinnati going back some 20 years. But that is all they have been - studies, not a single rail line has been built. The Cincy Streetcar is still under fire as being an unsustainable entity from an operational cost standpoint. I view a rail line from Columbus to Chicago as being out the outside of reality. Enough patrons in cities like Lima, Ohio and Fort Wayne, Indiana to support a passenger line? Come on, you are dreaming.

 

 

The problem is the words "study" and "plan" are often used interchangeably when they should not be. A study indicates research or testing. A plan indicates design and engineering. In this case, it's the latter.

 

As for the ridership generators, I seem to recall there are other stations along this route -- namely Chicago and Columbus. These are the #1 and #3 cities in the Midwest in terms of population. There is a significant amount of travel between these cities and no direct Interstate. To build one would cost upwards of $10 million per mile vs. $4 million per mile for the rail line which will also accommodate rail freight service, especially at night.

 

And while you denigrate Fort Wayne, it has a strong travel affinity with Chicago. With 110 mph passenger rail service, Fort Wayne will position itself as a low-cost business satellite to and even a bedroom community of Chicago. So would Warsaw, IN some 30 miles west of Fort Wayne along the same rail corridor. Warsaw has become the nation's orthopedics headquarters which relies on access to Chicago O'Hare and the world, and from the world to Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne is never going to have world-class airline service to the world. And as the eastern endpoint/anchor station of a rail service, it will never have world-class rail service to Chicago O'Hare either. But as an enroute station along a 300-mile rail corridor linking the Midwest's #1 and #3 cities, it has a legit shot of gaining that world-class rail service. Without it, Warsaw risks losing this orthopedics cluster, which was stated more eloquently in the economic impact analysis noted in this press release http://orthoworxindiana.com/news/2011/02/3792/.

 

Similarly, Lima, OH has similar global access needs as little Warsaw, IN thanks to Marathon Petroleum Corporation, which has its world headquarters in nearby Findlay plus, offices and major refining/processing plants in Lima. The nearest worldwide access point to Findlay/Lima is Detroit -- about 1.5 hours away. But Chicago O'Hare has more options which can be reached in 2.5 hours by all-weather rail service. When oil executives or their suppliers need to make morning flights at O'Hare, having that time zone change into Chicago gives O'Hare the advantage over Detroit Metro. The loss of that hour coming to Findlay may be less important for business travelers concluding their trip into Lima.

 

Similarly, little Marysville, OH has similar global access needs as little Lima, OH thanks to Honda of America. Honda execs typically make trips between Marysville and Japan, which means driving east one hour to Port Columbus Airport, enduring terminal time, and then flying to Chicago. By that time, the train would have gotten them to downtown Chicago or O'Hare for less money and with greater all-weather reliability. Plus the train will provide consistent wi-fi access (at least theoretically!) throughout the journey from Marysville to Chicago.

 

But the bulk of the ridership will certainly come from Columbus and Chicago, both of which are growing vibrant cities which could enjoy even more vibrancy from a fast, low-cost, comfortable rail connection linking them. But don't discount the ridership contributions along the way. And recognize that this rail service will change those en route cities for the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But kjbrill won't ride it -- therefore it will be unsuccessful.

 

And your sarcastic remarks are really going to make it happen that much faster!

 

First come feasability studies. Then come actual plans concerning just what tracks, what upgrades are required, what rolling stock, what is the ridership substainability, etc. Then comes the Big One, the actual appropriation of funds to make it happen. When you get to the appropriation of funds stage let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But kjbrill won't ride it -- therefore it will be unsuccessful.

 

And your sarcastic remarks are really going to make it happen that much faster!

 

First come feasability studies. Then come actual plans concerning just what tracks, what upgrades are required, what rolling stock, what is the ridership substainability, etc. Then comes the Big One, the actual appropriation of funds to make it happen. When you get to the appropriation of funds stage let me know.

 

the same process also must be followed for roads too. All federally funded construction projects take an average of 10 years to go from idea to ribbon cutting. BTW feasibility studies aren't the first required step under NEPA, the 1,000-page law which governs the planning process for all federally funded projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rail Advocate Optimistic About Columbus to Chicago High Speed Line

By Brent Warren, Columbus Underground

May 15, 2014 - 8:00 am

 

Since a proposal for high-speed passenger rail from Columbus to Chicago was first unveiled last summer, interest in the idea has been strong.  Mayor Coleman’s office called the idea “promising,” local advocacy group Transit Columbus saw an outpouring of support on social media, and the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has since said that they are committed to exploring the feasibility of the concept.

 

Fred Lanahan, President of the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association – the organization that spearheaded the original study – will be speaking at All Aboard Ohio’s annual meeting on May 17 in Gahanna.  We reached out to Lanahan to see if he could provide some background on the proposal, the role that different stakeholders are playing in the effort, and his thoughts on the next steps needed to take the idea from dream to reality.

 

Full Q & A at http://www.columbusunderground.com/rail-advocate-optimistic-about-columbus-to-chicago-high-speed-line-bw1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More links and audio at the link to the full article below.

 

Mayors, Business Community Rally For Rail

Dan McGowan, InsideINdianaBusiness.com

 

Eight mayors from Indiana and Ohio have taken another key step in a plan calling for high-speed rail service between Chicago and Columbus, Ohio and running through northern Indiana. The group has issued a memorandum of agreement to develop the Northern Indiana/Ohio Passenger Rail initiative with freight rail operators and right-of-way owners along the proposed route.

 

They are pushing for an environmental impact study for the project. The total cost of the proposal is estimated at more than $1 billion.

 

You can view a copy of the MOA by clicking here: http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/video-player.asp?id=14467

 

An economic impact study spearheaded by the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association Inc. last year estimated the corridor could result in nearly 27,000 jobs over 30 years.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=66486

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next Steps taken to Continue Evaluation of Columbus-to-Chicago Rail

August 7, 2014 4:48 pm

By Walker Evans

 

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) along with the City of Columbus and City of Marysville jointly announced today that they will collectively be continuing with the necessary steps to evaluate the feasibility of the Columbus-to-Chicago high speed passenger rail line that was proposed last summer.

 

“Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in the planning and evaluation of the proposed rail corridor from Columbus to Chicago, ” said MORPC Executive Director William Murdock. “With the leadership of the cities along the proposed route in Ohio and Indiana, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) formalizes already significant collaboration across states to diligently review this new transportation corridor. The MOA is a practical, yet critical next step to pursue the next phase of analyses, the Tier One Environmental Impact Study and the Service Development Plan.”

 

A group of cities, towns, planning agencies and businesses across both Indiana and Ohio have partnered to fund the study and business plan to build an eleven-city 300-mile link linking Columbus and Chicago. Stops along the way could include Fort Wayne, Marysville, Kenton and Lima.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/next-steps-taken-to-continue-evaluation-of-columbus-to-chicago-rail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MORPC press release......

 

http://www.morpc.org/about-morpc/news/news-archive/2014/morpc-columbus-marysville-join-ohio-indiana-cities-to-pursue-environmental-evaluation/index

 

MORPC, CITIES OF COLUMBUS, MARYSVILLE JOIN OHIO & INDIANA CITIES TO PURSUE ENVIRONMENTAL EVALUATION OF RAIL CORRIDOR

AUGUST 7, 2014

 

MORPC and the cities of Columbus and Marysville are ready for the next phase of due diligence to continue exploration of a proposed Columbus to Chicago High-Speed Passenger Rail Corridor.

 

"Today's announcement represents a significant milestone in the planning and evaluation of the proposed rail corridor from Columbus to Chicago, “said MORPC Executive Director William Murdock. “With the leadership of the cities along the proposed route in Ohio and Indiana, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) [http://www.morpc.org/pdf/2014MOAColumbusChicagoRail.pdf] formalizes already significant collaboration across states to diligently review this new transportation corridor. The MOA is a practical, yet critical next step to pursue the next phase of analyses, the Tier One Environmental Impact Study and the Service Development Plan."

 

A coalition of Ohio and Indiana municipalities, planning agencies and businesses partnered to fund a feasibility study and business plan, for a regional, eleven-city, 300-mile passenger rail corridor between Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois through Fort Wayne, Indiana. Marysville, Kenton and Lima, Ohio would be the additional Ohio stops on the route. The study, released in 2013, was completed by Transportation Economics & Management Systems (TEMS). The next step in the process is to undertake a Tier One EIS as required by the Federal Railroad Administration. The participating jurisdictions along the route have agreed to execute a MOA to formalize their cooperation moving forward, including identifying shared public and private funding for the EIS.

 

Echoing the need for continued due diligence, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman said the TEMS feasibility study and business plan showed great promise. “Creating another transportation link from Columbus to Chicago is important for our region’s economic future. Chicago is the largest economic center of the Midwest, which represents a nearly $3 trillion annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shared among the 9 states in the original Midwestern Regional Rail Initiative. The greater Columbus market, totaling over 1.8 million people, is the largest metropolitan city without high-speed passenger rail service.”

 

Marysville Mayor John Gore said, “This type of long-term planning simply makes good economic sense. As we strategically plan for future economic development in Marysville and Union County, a high-speed passenger rail service that provides regular service to Port Columbus and to Chicago mean ongoing opportunities for existing business growth through retention, expansion and recruitment. And that’s hugefor our community, the region and the entire state of Ohio.”

 

“Support for passenger rail is strong in Lima and the Greater Lima area,” said Lima Mayor David Berger. “We have a large base of potential passengers among our business people, students and everyday citizens who want and need an alternative option to driving to Chicago or Columbus. Having access to fast, frequent trains also would send a strong message to investors and others who are looking for development opportunities in Lima, as well as assist our existing businesses in recruiting new talent.”

 

Business and civic leaders also support undertaking the Tier One EIS.

 

Eric Phillips, Union County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said “If the Tier-1 Environmental Study shows this passenger rail corridor can be built and operated as planned, we see this service creating a significant economic development boost for Marysville and Union County by greatly enhancing our transportation portfolio. Selection and development of a station site alone could be a magnet for growth.”

 

“Passenger rail will have a high impact on our region,” says Ohio Northern University President Daniel DiBiasio. “It would significantly improve access for residents of Lima and Northwest Ohio to Columbus and Chicago. By broadening travel options for students, we can dramatically enhance their ability to benefit from the incredible opportunities these great cities provide, including commuting to internship sites and back home during breaks. Faculty, who now drive to campus from Columbus, would have a faster, safer, more eco-friendly commute. In fact, passenger rail will enhance faculty and student recruitment, making Ada, Ohio much more accessible."

 

According to a 2013 feasibility study by Transportation Economics Management Systems, the proposed service of 12 trains a day with at least 4 express trains would:

 

+ Directly connect the Greater Columbus market, totaling over 1.8 million people, with the largest center of commerce in the Midwest: Chicago;

+ Provide the same fast, frequent connections and benefits to Ohio cities like Marysville, Kenton and Lima;

+ Feature Chicago to Columbus travel times ranging from 3 hours and 45 minutes express service to 4 hours local service;

+ Attract an estimated 2.1 million riders in 2020 and will increase to over 3.3 million riders by 2040;

+ Generate a positive operating cost ratio of an estimated $5 million once the system ramps up in 2020 and rise to $64 million by 2040, operated by a private franchise operator. The business plan indicates that private operation of the system would be possible without annual government subsidies;

+ Generate an estimated 12,000 temporary jobs during construction and 26,800 permanent jobs over the 30-year project; and

+ Provide an estimated $6 billion of increased output for the region’s businesses.

 

For more information contact Sarah McQuaide at 614.233.4130.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

City of Kenton, OH joined two weeks ago. This week, it's Marysville......

 

COLUMBUS TO CHICAGO HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER RAIL CORRIDOR

Marysville on board to explore rail service

By CHRIS BOURNEA

Sunday August 31, 2014 11:11 PM

 

The city of Marysville has joined with a coalition of municipalities and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission on an environmental impact study for a high-speed passenger rail line from Columbus to Chicago.

 

In an Aug. 14 report, Marysville Mayor John Gore said the project will help Ohio be more competitive in the global economy.

 

"This type of long-term planning simply makes good economic sense," Gore said in a news release issued by MORPC.

 

"As we strategically plan for future economic development in Marysville and Union County, a high-speed passenger rail service that provides regular service to Port Columbus and to Chicago mean ongoing opportunities for existing business growth through retention, expansion and recruitment. And that's huge for our community, the region and the entire state of Ohio," he said.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/marysville/news/2014/08/28/columbus-to-chicago-high-speed-passenger-rail-corridor-marysville-on-board-to-explore-rail-service.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about a nice suburban station surrounded by a high-density, mixed-use downtown district for Amazon and supportive uses (hotels, housing, restaurants, retail, subcontractor offices, etc) that's less than four hours from downtown Chicago and a shade over four hours from O'Hare International Airport? Think maybe that would help attract Amazon?? Oh, and by the way, a value capture mechanism could be offered (like a Transportation Improvement District) at this and other stations to fund a federal RRIF loan to build the rail infrastructure -- Example A: All Aboard Florida. Just a thought.....

 

City of Dublin considering making bid for $1.1 billion Amazon project

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/09/10/dublin-considering-incentives-for-amazon-project.html

 

Bring Innovation to the Infrastructure Funding Debate

http://valuecapture.org/2013/02/14/bring-innovation-to-the-infrastructure-funding-debate/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fort Wayne Line rebirth

December 22, 2014 | Author: admin

 

For advocates of rail transportation, one of the most enjoyable developments is to see a railroad line come back to life. That’s been happening recently to the 270-mile Fort Wayne Line between Tolleston (Gary), IN and Crestline, OH via Ft. Wayne, Lima and Bucyrus. This was one of America’s premier passenger rail lines, linking Chicago and East Coast.

 

But will a sudden increase in freight traffic to this corridor help or hurt prospects for the return of passenger rail? That depends on how many freight trains and infrastructure improvements are coming.

 

The Fort Wayne Line west of Dunkirk, OH has been the subject of an initiative by a consortium of online communities to develop passenger rail service between Columbus and Chicago. If they are successful, service may begin with 79-mph trains. As more funding is found, the consortium would upgrade the line to progressively higher speeds.

 

A rebirth of this line for freight is more immediate. Norfolk Southern (NS) track resurfacing crews have been laboring between Ft. Wayne and Bucyrus since November – a time of year when such work is usually confined to NS routes in southern states. So what has them working in Ohio’s cold? A race to relieve traffic congestion.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://allaboardohio.org/2014/12/22/fort-wayne-line-rebirth/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The above blog posting led to a couple articles, including one in a Bluffton-Ada website and this one...

 

Rail freight up in area

Lima could benefit from renewed interest

Last updated: January 02. 2015 8:28PM - 630 Views

By Megan Kennedy - mkennedy@civitasmedia.com

 

LIMA — Increased freight could lead to passenger rails.

 

Lima could see an increase of freight lines coming through the East and West ends of the city, Ken Pendergast, executive director of All Aboard Ohio said.

 

This increase could mean a higher-speed rail in the future.

 

The Fort Wayne Line was formerly a main component of the Pennsylvania Railroad prior to 1968, Pendergast said. “This route is still there, unlike a lot of other routes where they pulled up the tracks and lost the property and homes and businesses and bridges were taken out,” he said.

 

MORE:

http://limaohio.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=LI&date=20150102&category=news&lopenr=301029917&Ref=AR

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FOR RELEASE JANUARY 22, 2015

Contact: Michael Williams

Genesee & Wyoming

Tel: 203-202-8916 mwilliams@gwrr.com

 

CHICAGO, FT. WAYNE & EASTERN RAILROAD ANNOUNCES TRACK-IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Helps Alleviate Rail Congestion in Metro Chicago, Benefits Existing and Potential New Industries

 

FT. WAYNE, Ind. – January 22, 2015 – The Chicago, Ft. Wayne & Eastern Railroad (CFE) today announced a track improvement project enabling 40-mph train speeds across the entire 315-mile rail line from Tolleston, Ind., to Crestline, Ohio. Work includes leveling and aligning nearly 50 track-miles, replacing segments of rail and installing more than 10,000 new railroad ties. Expected to be completed this month, the project will help alleviate rail freight congestion in the metro-Chicago area by creating an alternate route for trains going to and from the Chicago rail gateway.

 

CFE anticipates up to six additional eastbound freight trains per day over its line upon completion of the project. The additional trains, expected to carry energy products such as crude oil, bulk commodities such as grain, and other general merchandise, will be operated by Norfolk Southern Railway, which has rights to operate over the CFE and dispatches all trains on the line.

 

“Motorists and pedestrians should take note that trains will be running more frequently and also at higher speeds on certain segments that were not 40 mph before,” says Chuck McBride, CFE president. “Always obey signs and warning devices at railroad crossings, and cross only at designated crossings.”

 

There are more than 400 public and private railroad crossings on the CFE, 213 of which already had 40-mph train speeds. The 221 crossings now being increased to 40-mph train speeds are in Allen County in Indiana and in Crawford, Wyandot, Hardin, Allen and Van Wert counties in Ohio.

 

“This private-sector investment enhances an important piece of transportation infrastructure in Indiana and Ohio,” McBride says. “By increasing the railroad’s capacity to transport freight, the improvement project benefits existing customers and also makes the CFE corridor more attractive for potential new customers and economic development opportunities along the line.

 

Through these investments, we look forward to enhancing this route to help attract new industries that need superior access to the national rail freight network. We believe this fits well with the current resurgence of industries locating new facilities in Indiana and Ohio.”

 

CFE was acquired in 2012 by Genesee & Wyoming, North America’s largest owner of short line and regional freight railroads and a safety leader in the industry.

 

# # #

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have preferred to see INDOT win the Tier I EIS funding now, but the MIPRC funding application has the potential to be an even better outcome later. I'd rather have FRA plan the Midwest rail system given the history of rural-minded politicians and DOT's in Ohio and Indiana.....

 

Planning Work Continues on Columbus to Chicago High Speed Rail Idea

April 27, 2015 10:09 am

Brent Warren

 

Although it’s been nearly two years since we first reported on the proposal to build a high-speed passenger rail connection between Columbus and Chicago, the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has quietly kept up their planning efforts, coordinating communication among the local jurisdictions along the proposed line and supporting two separate proposals submitted last fall to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that would pay for the next step in the process, a Tier One Environmental Impact Statement.

 

MORPC recently found out that one of those proposals was turned down – a $3.2 million grant request submitted by the Indiana Department of Transportation was not selected for funding by the FRA. Bernice Cage of MORPC said that they are in the process of scheduling a debriefing session with FRA staff, “to understand how our application ranked against the others so that we may strengthen future funding applications.”

 

MORPC is still waiting to hear about a second federal application, this one submitted by the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIRPC).

 

MORE:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/planning-work-continues-on-columbus-to-chicago-high-speed-rail-idea-bw1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this STILL in the "planning phase?"

 

Not yet. There is an active fundraising effort to secure the local share for the Tier I environmental assessment. That's the first step in the federally recognized project development process. The fundraising effort was successful in Indiana and is showing success now in Ohio communities. See All Aboard Ohio's latest e-edition newsletter at allaboardohio.org.

 

With GOP governors in all three states on this route, the question will be whether the Trump Admin's planned Infrastruktur Blitzkrieg (I think that's the working title) will include rail. I'd guess it's going to be road heavy.

 

One thing Trump has been consistent in is his support for high-speed rail. So far, the infrastructure plan is designed to finance projects with steady revenue streams that can repay government-back debt. That means toll roads and/or bridges with solid traffic levels, airports with reliable landing/gate/landside fees, port facilities with sufficient docking/lift fees, and rail lines with meaningful freight tonnage or passenger lines with a diverse mix of passenger/package/real estate revenues. How the tax credits are spent will depend on the applications submitted.

 

Still, a lot of details remain unknown...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like this project is finally showing signs of progress. From the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association Facebook page: "Watch for some exciting news this Monday, December 19th at 1:00 pm at Baker Street Station. Join us if your in Fort Wayne! Progress!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like this project is finally showing signs of progress. From the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association Facebook page: "Watch for some exciting news this Monday, December 19th at 1:00 pm at Baker Street Station. Join us if your in Fort Wayne! Progress!"

 

Hmm... Very interesting! Would love to see some kind of movement forward on this project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good news. And it should provide a kick in the pants to Columbus leaders who haven't yet gotten on board this train.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This article doesn’t provide insight on Monday's announcement. I'm sure MORPC knows about it, but isn't directly involved....

 

Plans for train connecting Columbus and Chicago chug forward

http://thelantern.com/2014/10/plans-for-train-connecting-columbus-and-chicago-chug-forward/

 

 

For release: Monday, December 19, 2016

Contact: Mary Tyndall, Community Development PIO, 427-5958

 

 

MEDIA ALERT – Passenger Rail Announcement

WHO: Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and supporters of the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus passenger rail corridor

 

WHAT:  Announcement concerning the next step in establishing passenger rail service throughout northern Indiana and northwest Ohio

 

WHEN:   Today, 1:00 p.m. Monday, December 19, 2016

WHERE:   Baker Street Train Station, 221 W. Baker St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802

 

 

###

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interesting part about today's 1 p.m. announcement is where the project development process could go (geographically) at the east end of the route. Where it may go will depend on community leaders and metropolitan planning organizations and the funds they raise. HINT: it may not be Columbus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Press Relaease – Passenger Rail Gains Support From Federal Rail Administration

 

For Release: Monday, December 19, 2016

Contact: Mary Tyndall, City of Fort Wayne, 260-427-5958, mary.tyndall@cityoffortwayne.org

Geoff Paddock, NIPRA, 260-425-5745 or 260-342-3250

 

Passenger Rail Gains Support from Federal Rail Administration

 

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Supporters of the proposed Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus passenger rail line have approval from Federal and State agencies to take the first step in establishing the new rail line.

 

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and members of the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA) were joined by mayors and representatives from dozens of communities along the proposed route today at the Baker Street Train Station in Fort Wayne. They announced the recent approval from the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) to proceed with the Environmental Assessment and Public Input process that are required under federal law to begin the project.

 

“I’m encouraged by our collective efforts to develop innovative plans to make Fort Wayne a point of destination,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “The approval from the FRA allows us to begin the process of establishing passenger rail service through Fort Wayne, northern Indiana and northwest Ohio. By working together, we’re committed to making a meaningful difference by bringing more transportation options and economic development opportunities to our region.”

 

“This is the result of years of hard work and dogged determination on the part of many of us,” said NIPRA spokesperson and Fort Wayne City Councilman Geoff Paddock. “The return of passenger rail to Fort Wayne will be a huge boost for economic development in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana. It will add momentum to our booming downtown and help revitalize neighborhoods that surround the train station. It is gratifying that the FRA and INDOT see there is an untapped market for rail service in Fort Wayne. We thank them for working with us over the past few years to reach this moment.”

 

The Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus corridor would provide high-quality passenger rail connections to 100 Midwest cities through a regional rail network that offers safe, comfortable and reliable service with amenities such as Wi-Fi and food service. Initial plans are for trains to travel at a maximum speed of approximately 75 miles per hour and eventually travel at 110 miles per hour. In many communities along the route, scheduled stops would take place at existing historic train stations, such as the Baker Street Train Station, 221 W. Baker St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

 

The Environmental Assessment is an investment of $350,000 and will examine the preliminary engineering, technical analysis, service planning and environmental impacts along the proposed route. The study, along with the public input process, will start in early January 2017 and is expected to be completed by late fall. The FRA will provide technical assistance throughout the process. While environmental assessments are often paid for by the Federal government, this assessment is being paid for with funding from cities and businesses along the corridor. Once the Assessment is complete, engineering and design to upgrade the existing tracks can begin, pending funding. Supporters of passenger rail are optimistic limited service could begin by 2020.

 

A 2013 rail corridor feasibility study concluded that approximately 2.1 million riders would use the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus route in 2020, with that number growing to more than three million in 2040. The study also estimated that for every $1 of investment, $1.70 would be generated in economic return through job growth and increased property values. More information about the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus passenger rail can be found online at www.niprarail.org.

###

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://allaboardohio.org/2016/12/19/chicago-ohio-rail-corridor-planning-starts/

 

DavidBerger-FtWaynePC-121916-Shope1CROP.jpg

Lima, OH Mayor David Berger announces at a Dec. 19, 2016 press conference at Baker Street Station in Fort Wayne, IN the start of federally compliant planning of a passenger rail corridor through Lima to Chicago. Expansion of this first step of planning work to more of Ohio will depend on the extent of funding contributions from those areas. (ROGER SHOPE PHOTO)

 

Chicago-Ohio rail corridor planning starts

kjprendergast on December 19, 2016

 

Dec. 19, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Ken Prendergast 844-464-7245

kenprendergast@allaboardohio.org

 

All Aboard Ohio is grateful to the business and civic leaders along the Columbus-Lima-Fort Wayne-Chicago rail corridor for their leadership and vision in raising funds to start an Alternatives Analysis and Public Input process for high-performance passenger rail into Chicago. This phase represents a starting point for the Project Development Process (PDP) for all major transportation capital improvement projects.

 

We also thank the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) for submitting an application to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to support the analysis. INDOT offered the locally raised funds, totaling $350,000, to start the PDP as part of an arrangement with the FRA. All Aboard Ohio thanks the FRA for responding to this application with its support for this first step of planning work that is due to be completed at the end of 2017. All of this success was made possible due to the efforts of the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association.

 

To All Aboard Ohio, the benefits of developing the Columbus-Lima-Fort Wayne-Chicago corridor aren’t limited to this corridor. Significant parts of this corridor can and should be designed and developed as a trunk route for more and faster passenger trains from/to Ohio’s largest cities, including Cleveland and Cincinnati as well (see map below).

 

“There are only two rail corridors to the east of Chicago that lack heavy freight rail traffic and could offer the potential for frequent, reliable, 110-mph passenger trains,” said Ken Prendergast, executive director of All Aboard Ohio. “One already does – the Wolverine Corridor that was upgraded with infrastructure and safety improvements that allow 110 mph speeds for three state-sponsored Michigan passenger rail routes into Chicago.

 

“The other is the Fort Wayne Line,” Prendergast added. “With the support of more Ohio civic leaders like Lima Mayor David Berger, the Fort Wayne Line may someday be the route that all Ohio rail passengers use to enter Chicago safely, swiftly and reliably. We encourage more Ohio leaders to get on board the train to the Midwest’s economic capital.”

 

Trains from Ohio using the Fort Wayne Line into Chicago could travel to the Windy City from Columbus, Cincinnati or Cleveland in four hours or less. Travelers in closer-in cities like Toledo and Lima could arrive in downtown Chicago in three hours or less, regardless of bad weather while staying digitally connected and productive in their work. Passengers could relax on the train after a day of business in the Windy City with a cold drink or hot meal in the cafe car or by finishing up work so they can spend the evening with their family.

 

“With today’s announcement in Fort Wayne, we are now one step closer to realizing this vision,” Prendergast said. “Every long journey begins with a single step. That journey is now under way.”

 

A 2013 rail corridor feasibility study concluded that approximately 2.1 million riders would use the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus route in 2020, with that number growing to more than three million in 2040. The study also estimated that for every $1 of investment, $1.70 would be generated in economic return through job growth and increased property values.

 

END

 

Chicago-FtWayne-Lima1text.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning Roundup: Ray of hope for Columbus-Chicago rail line

Dec 21, 2016, 7:56am EST Updated Dec 21, 2016, 8:07am EST

Doug Buchanan

Digital editor

Columbus Business First

 

Advocates of high-speed rail are cheering one small step toward getting a Columbus to Chicago line built.

 

WANE in Indiana reports the Federal Railroad Administration has green-lit an Alternatives Analysis and Public Input process for a Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus rail line.

 

"This is the result of years of hard work and dogged determination on the part of many of us," a spokesman for the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association told the station.

 

MORE:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/12/21/morning-roundup-ray-of-hope-for-columbus-chicago.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CU gets to the heart of the story.... If Columbus fumbles away this opportunity, hopefully it will only be a short-term fumble. After all, Fort Wayne could join other Midwest smaller metro areas like Grand Rapids, Rockford, and the Quad Cities that are outer end-point cities of Amtrak Chicago hub routes. Or the route could head northeast from Fort Wayne or Lima to Toledo, Detroit, Cleveland and points east. Or Columbus could wake up from its driverless car fantasy and join other Midwest large metros enjoying 79-110 mph access to the heart of Midwest's economic capital city....

 

Initial Planning Starts for Rail Corridor to Chicago, Columbus Not Part of Effort

December 21, 2016 11:39 am

Brent Warren

 

The plan to build a high-speed rail corridor connecting Columbus and Chicago took a small step forward yesterday, although Columbus’ level of involvement in the project is in question.

 

A coalition of local jurisdictions, businesses and foundations – all located west of Lima, Ohio, and mostly clustered in the Fort Wayne area – have come up with $350,000 to start the first phase of planning for the project.

 

That is not enough to study the whole line, explained Ken Pendergast, Executive Director of All Aboard Ohio.

 

...When asked if the City of Columbus will be involved – either financially or otherwise – in future planning efforts to connect Columbus and Chicago by rail, Robin Davis, Director of Media Relations for the Mayor’s Office, provided this statement:

 

“Mayor Ginther is committed to the future of mobility through the Smart Columbus initiative. He will be focusing his transportation efforts on smart logistics, expanded mobility options and an environmentally sustainable transportation system.”

 

MORE:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/initial-planning-starts-for-rail-corridor-to-chicago-columbus-not-part-of-effort-bw1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbus' refusal to even join the efforts is disheartening.  The leaders in Columbus are doing a DISSERVICE to its citizens yet again.  The Smart City Grant was nice, but who the heck cares if Columbus gets driverless cars a week before every other city?  There's no point.  The leaders need to put major efforts into LONG TERM transportation solutions that would help citizens and decrease the need for people to buy cars (as well as the city's needs to constantly be expanding highways).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People in Columbus need to organize and put pressure on the Mayor's office and the city council.  Organize like they did in Cincinnati for the streetcar.  That's what gets the job done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is another reason why I think Ginther is a DINO. Coleman was willing to help the project yet Ginther is all digital stuff like the "Smart City" O-Tools.

 

Are you surprised!? He is after all a Clintonville resident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbus to Chicago Rail Proposal Still on the Table

 

09Lima1.jpg

 

Yesterday’s announcement that a hyperlink route between Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh will be further studied might leave some wondering — what happened to the proposal to build a high speed rail line on essentially the same route?

 

The passenger rail proposal, which would connect Columbus to Chicago by upgrading existing freight lines, is not dead. In fact, initial planning for the western portion of the route is underway, and the City of Columbus recently confirmed that it will financially support the effort, a commitment it was not willing to make late last year.

 

More below:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/columbus-to-chicago-rail-proposal-still-on-the-table-bw1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MORPC used the business community support for hyperloop (did CU really mistype "hyperlink" in its opening paragraph??) to leverage funding for conventional rail project development.

 

After all, it's important to be ready to address overlooked present-day transportation issues just in case those in the future fail to materialize...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The headline is hyperloop. But the study will evaluate a near-term, modern, 110-mph #Columbus-#Chicago passenger #rail on upgraded, underutilized rail infrastructure serving Marysville, Kenton, Lima and Ft. Wayne. That's why the enroute communities helped to fund this. Hyperloop, if built, won't serve them. Passenger rail will.

 

Columbus taking steps to secure future Hyperloop route

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180221/columbus-taking-steps-to-secure-future-hyperloop-route

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×