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More Amtrak Service In Ohio?

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Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
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2,574
Reading the state senator's opinion, he opposes state funding. There's close to zero chance of this happening without state funding. If he doesn't vote for state funding, then he's opposed to the project regardless of the fact that he took the opposite position in the first half of his editorial.
I don't read his comments in quite the same way. As I read his comments, he views the Amtrak proposal as one that will have an economic benefit to the State as well as providing convenience in getting from Point A to Point B without having to drive. Yes, the Senator does not want to have to raise taxes to pay for this service. He does want sufficient (however that word is defined by whomever--which surely is debatable in Ohio for a variety of services, i.e public health, education, etc.) funds to benefit the citizens of Ohio without raising taxes. Is his thinking that Amtrak's proposal will stimulate increased economic activity which would then add additional tax revenue to the State's bank account?

If so, his thinking mirrors the recent 2021-2022 Budget proposed by Governor DeWine. There is a proposal for 50 million dollars in his Budget to market Ohio to attract others to move to our State. The Governor's Budget is significant (in my opinion) that it does not require an increase in taxes nor tapping the State's Rainy Day Fund.

Since Amtrak's proposal includes development costs and covering (if I read it correctly) 2 years of operating costs before a State subsidy would be required, that would give the plan time to help determine if there really will be an economic benefit as well as a convenience benefit for the citizens of Ohio.
 

CTANut

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
50
Location
USA
On the Op-Ed page of Sunday's Dayton Daily News, there were two pieces written about Amtrak's proposed new services In Ohio, particularly as the plans relate to the 3-C's corridor route. One article was written by the Executive Director of All Aboard Ohio who previously served with the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The other article was written by my Ohio State Senator who is one of the most conservative members of the Ohio State Senate.

Not surprisingly, the gentleman representing All Aboard Ohio was enthusiastic about Amtrak's plans.

The article written by my State Senator had 17 paragraphs. 10 of those paragraphs were "pro" in tone regarding the proposals. 7 of those paragraphs were "cautionary" in tone: in short, the State has to due its due diligence first. Implementing the plan, how will this impact Ohio's budget and taxes? Will the project be completed without the use of eminent domain?

My State Senator is the youngest of our State Senators. He wrote: "I know millennials want the project to happen".

His reaction to Amtrak's proposals are opposite to what I anticipated. If such a legislator can be brought aboard to support the proposals, I am very encouraged that this new service in Ohio could actually happen.

The proposal must first become part of a new Federal Surface Transportation Bill. Time to contact our Senators and members of the House in support of the plans!
It was on page 18 of the February 7th edition of the dayton daily news.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
331
Location
Cleveland
I don't read his comments in quite the same way. As I read his comments, he views the Amtrak proposal as one that will have an economic benefit to the State as well as providing convenience in getting from Point A to Point B without having to drive. Yes, the Senator does not want to have to raise taxes to pay for this service. He does want sufficient (however that word is defined by whomever--which surely is debatable in Ohio for a variety of services, i.e public health, education, etc.) funds to benefit the citizens of Ohio without raising taxes. Is his thinking that Amtrak's proposal will stimulate increased economic activity which would then add additional tax revenue to the State's bank account?

If so, his thinking mirrors the recent 2021-2022 Budget proposed by Governor DeWine. There is a proposal for 50 million dollars in his Budget to market Ohio to attract others to move to our State. The Governor's Budget is significant (in my opinion) that it does not require an increase in taxes nor tapping the State's Rainy Day Fund.

Since Amtrak's proposal includes development costs and covering (if I read it correctly) 2 years of operating costs before a State subsidy would be required, that would give the plan time to help determine if there really will be an economic benefit as well as a convenience benefit for the citizens of Ohio.
I sure hope you're right. I've just gotten so pessimistic because no Ohio rail proposal has led to anything in my lifetime, and I'm almost 40.

Columbus is booming and fully half the people I knew in Cleveland now work in Columbus because of the extra money. I'm certain that rail service to Columbus would be successful.
 

CTANut

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
50
Location
USA
One issue I see with the proposed Springfield site is that a parking lot is in the way of where the old station was. East of the lot, there is some free land, however, that is located along the spur to the Indiana and Ohio Railway line. Essentially, it would force the Amtrak train to reverse and wye at that point. I could foresee them converting part of the lot to a new bus terminal, as it is currently a 0.3 mile walk. The lot is owned by Clark State College, and currently serves as parking for an auditorium. The track currently splits right at the end of the parking lot. I think that if they built a platform in part of the parking lot, then it would probably work out better. They could also use the lot on the south side of the tracks as station parking, as it appears not to be used much unless there is a show at the nearby auditorium. It would be really neat if they could relocate the bus terminal there, as it would make it easier for people to transfer to get to their final destination. Greyhound could also relocate there from its current location near I-70.
Also, do you think the platform would be high level on a siding, or low level on the mainline track.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Mar 5, 2014
Messages
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One issue I see with the proposed Springfield site is that a parking lot is in the way of where the old station was.
Personally, I think the location of stations along the route will be an issue for some communities, if not all of them. The Dayton station was located in the downtown area with no parking nearby other than street parking, just as an example. But, such a problem is not unsolvable if the civic Fathers/Mothers want Amtrak service for their community.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,574
I've just gotten so pessimistic because no Ohio rail proposal has led to anything in my lifetime, and I'm almost 40.
I understand your pessimism. Being 3 decades older, I have experienced good rail service for Ohio and watching it decline and decline and....

I really do think Amtrak's proposal has a better chance to succeed since it does seem to agree with the Governor's and many in the General Assembly's desire to continue to make Ohio more business friendly and more of a welcoming place to live. Amtrak's plan to pick up the development costs and the first 2 years operating expenses: if I was a member of the General Assembly, my position would be: what do we have to loose to try this?

The fact that my very conservative State Senator would even consider the proposal also gives me much hope.
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
732
Location
MI
Also Ohio has to get over their Michigan hatred, enough with the weird bans on the color blue and the letter M. The two states' residents have much to gain from increased infrastructure cooperation.
Life is about so much more than sports, or should be.
 

Philly Amtrak Fan

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Philadelphia Area
I found some interesting statistics/slides over Twitter:

Derek Bauman on Twitter: "Amazing proposal that all of us across the state of #Ohio and elected officials from across the spectrum can get behind. IMO this is perhaps the biggest game changer since the advent of Amtrak & the National Network in 1971. https://t.co/m7xwI0WhNK" / Twitter

Ohio is the 7th most populous state but the 27th highest ridership among states.

They list the top 50 metro areas. Four of them have no Amtrak service (Columbus, Nashville, Louisville, and Las Vegas). Cincinnati had 4 passengers per 1,000 people, Cleveland had 27. Detroit had 48. Pittsburgh had 68. St. Louis had 180. Chicago had 367. New York had 551. Washington had 924. Philadelphia had 936.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
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As someone who is pretty conservative overall, I find myself to be more center left on rail travel as long as the plans make sense, and don’t lead to worthless pieces of billion dollar garbage like California’s high speed line.

Overall, think this plan has the best chance of success, because it established short haul corridor routes supplement existing routes. It doesn’t take much to create the CLE to NYC corridor through BUF and Pitt because those lines already exist and are in use on long haul train lines. Lumping 3C with a more comprehensive corridor plan makes more sense than the pie in the sky that was proposed back in the Strickland days. I think people forget that, early on, there was talk of high speed rail, and when it turned out to not live up to those expectations, the plan burnt out.

Being a rail fan from Cleveland, I would love to see CLE become a regional rail hub. The one stumbling block is the station. Lakefront station can’t handle more than one train at a time right now. Building a new station at the airport would work, but takes traffic out downtown. I wish there was a way to repurpose the Tower City parking garage and turn the old Movie Theater into a train station for this plan. You would get more foot traffic in the mall, and put rail traffic back where it belongs in the heart of downtown.

Also, would the Lakeshore and Capitol Limited remain at 3 trains in each direction per week with this plan?
 

railiner

Conductor
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Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,898
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Palm Beach County
Can't Cleveland Union Terminal still be used as a thru train station, besides a transit station? Or have they redeveloped it to the "point of no return"?
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
6
Can't Cleveland Union Terminal still be used as a thru train station, besides a transit station? Or have they redeveloped it to the "point of no return"?
Most of the old rail yard is a parking garage and lot. Those could be repurposed, but would take some reconstruction and would definitely need new tracks.

My biggest concern with Union Terminal is that the new federal courthouse from the 90’s was built in an area that may make it a point of no return as there is no place for a turnaround now
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
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Can't Cleveland Union Terminal still be used as a thru train station, besides a transit station? Or have they redeveloped it to the "point of no return"?
Also, it may require movement and a redo of the Rapid Transit onto their temporary tracks
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,449
Location
Chicago, Illinois
As someone who is pretty conservative overall, I find myself to be more center left on rail travel as long as the plans make sense, and don’t lead to worthless pieces of billion dollar garbage like California’s high speed line.

Overall, think this plan has the best chance of success, because it established short haul corridor routes supplement existing routes. It doesn’t take much to create the CLE to NYC corridor through BUF and Pitt because those lines already exist and are in use on long haul train lines. Lumping 3C with a more comprehensive corridor plan makes more sense than the pie in the sky that was proposed back in the Strickland days. I think people forget that, early on, there was talk of high speed rail, and when it turned out to not live up to those expectations, the plan burnt out.

Being a rail fan from Cleveland, I would love to see CLE become a regional rail hub. The one stumbling block is the station. Lakefront station can’t handle more than one train at a time right now. Building a new station at the airport would work, but takes traffic out downtown. I wish there was a way to repurpose the Tower City parking garage and turn the old Movie Theater into a train station for this plan. You would get more foot traffic in the mall, and put rail traffic back where it belongs in the heart of downtown.

Also, would the Lakeshore and Capitol Limited remain at 3 trains in each direction per week with this plan?
This plan is separate from the CL and LSL, but it appears likely daily service will return. If the current House stimulus proposal passes, daily service must be restored within 90 days of passing.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
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This plan is separate from the CL and LSL, but it appears likely daily service will return. If the current House stimulus proposal passes, daily service must be restored within 90 days of passing.
That’s good to know. I would hate to lose either of those long haul lines. I guess I just hope that creating a CLE to NY corridor over the existing LSL could cannibalize ridership. Whereas the corridor through Pitt services Philly I would assume and gives another destination city that currently requires a transfer for CLE riders.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
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That’s good to know. I would hate to lose either of those long haul lines. I guess I just hope that creating a CLE to NY corridor over the existing LSL could cannibalize ridership. Whereas the corridor through Pitt services Philly I would assume and gives another destination city that currently requires a transfer for CLE riders.
let me rephrase, I hope that it does not cannibalize LSL ridership
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,911
Location
South Carolina
let me rephrase, I hope that it does not cannibalize LSL ridership
I strongly doubt it would cannibalize ridership to the LSL east in fact I think you would see that increase actually. It would also allow for some more creative moves to happen like shifting the LSL and the CL so that the LSL and SM could share a consist in NYP. If you move the SM back to 6 PM Departing you could theoretically save a set of equipment by interlining the two trains.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,574
Being a rail fan from Cleveland, I would love to see CLE become a regional rail hub. The one stumbling block is the station.
That is the way I feel about Cincinnati except the station is still a viable place for a rail hub, I think. The last I traveled out of Cincinnati there were still multiple tracks at the station and certainly the rail yards are of ample size. There would need to have some re-modeling done to access the tracks as there is only one way to get to the tracks that the Cardinal uses now. As far as I know.
 

Barb Stout

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
677
I strongly doubt it would cannibalize ridership to the LSL east in fact I think you would see that increase actually. It would also allow for some more creative moves to happen like shifting the LSL and the CL so that the LSL and SM could share a consist in NYP. If you move the SM back to 6 PM Departing you could theoretically save a set of equipment by interlining the two trains.
What does SM stand for?
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
732
Location
MI
Forgive my train infrastructure/ops ignorance.... are there more possibilities that could be explored with TOL?
 

IndyLions

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Joined
Nov 6, 2016
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543
Location
Brownsburg IN
Forgive my train infrastructure/ops ignorance.... are there more possibilities that could be explored with TOL?
Toledo was only mentioned in the article as part of the three daily round trips between Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit. They didn’t really provide any more details than that.

What other possibilities with TOL are you thinking? Heading south from TOL to Indianapolis? Northern route leaving TOL (bypassing DET) en route to Traverse City through Ann Arbor?
 
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