Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Choo Choo- All Aboard

The Ohio Rail Development Commission is trying to bring passenger rail to Ohio. Currently there is no passenger rail servicing Columbus but under the proposed plan the City could become the second hub for the system after Cincy. The four major and three secondary discussed routes include:

Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit via the “preferred” route serving Detroit Metro Airport
Cleveland-Pittsburgh via the “preferred” route serving Youngstown
Cleveland-Erie-Buffalo-Niagara Falls-Toronto

Columbus-Pittsburgh via the “Panhandle” route
Columbus-Toledo with through service continuing on to Detroit
Columbus-Lima-Fort Wayne with through service continuing on to Chicago

Benefits of passenger rail are astounding including increased mobility, environmentally responsiblility, and economic growth.

For those who have ridden the rails in Europe, you can attest to how convenient and easy passenger rail is for the daily traveler. One of the greatest perks is that trains are rarely impacted by weather and other traffic greatly reducing the amount of travel delays. Additionally, when riding the train you do not need to arrive 1 or 2 hours in advance of the departure time. All you need to do is be at the terminal a few minutes beforehand with your computer printed ticket in hand or even more convenient, with money to buy a ticket on board.

In order to help push for passenger rail in Ohio, contact your city council/development department to encourage them to pass a resolution in support of the federal government funding an Environmental Impact Statement. Twenty-five communities and organizations have already passed such a resolution with the City of Gahanna currently discussing such a possibility.


Anonymous said...

This is such a sight for sore eyes. One of the re-wired proposals from last night talked about Ohio being the missing Midwest rail gateway. With so many major cities within less than 250 miles, its about time an initiative like this takes off.

Walker Evans said...

I'm a big fan of this plan. I don't how much ticket would end up costing, but I'd think that riding a high-speed rail to Cleveland, Cincinnati and beyond would be much more appealing than the drive.

cmhindependent said...

The City of Gahanna, OH voted 3-4 against issuing a resolution of support in favor of the Ohio Hub. Ironically, they simultaneously agreed to join the Central Ohio Green Pact.

Clearly there are some bloody brilliant commission members in Gahanna.

Andrew said...

I wish the media would stop using words like "choo-choo" or "chugging" when describing a plan like this. Trains haven't done that for quite some time now.

I would suggest that they write something like "EEEEEORRRWWW, Airport Buzzes for Expansion."

cmhindependent said...

I can appreciate that concern but I don't think refering to the throwback sounds of passenger and freight rail is what prevents such plans from being approved. I think people's fear of losing their cars is what screws us over. However, just so I can ensure that I only support the advancement of passenger rail I promise never to say choo-choo or wear overalls with my conductor hat in public again.