COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Another step toward high-speed rails in Columbus was made this week by the governor’s office.
Gov. Mike DeWine’s office is seeking federal grant money to study the revival of two Amtrak passenger rail routes connecting Ohio cities. Those routes are 3C+D Corridor route, which would connect Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton, and a Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit route. DeWine’s office have directed the Ohio Rail Development Commission to apply for this first phase.
“This is the first step of many in this process. We have a lot of questions that need to be answered before we make any commitments,” said DeWine in a statement. “The information we gather from this effort will help us make informed decisions about federal opportunities for passenger rail in Ohio.”
Should the application succeed, $500,000 would be given for each proposed route from the Federal Railroad Administration to develop a plan. The application is due by March 27.
“We thank the Governor for his leadership in starting this critical process for the 3C+D, and we support advancement of the Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit Corridor,” wrote the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission in a statement to NBC4. “MORPC stands ready to compete for this investment in our growing region and we look forward to working in partnership with and be a resource to the Ohio Rail Development Commission in this effort.”
Proposals to expand Amtrak services in the state developed momentum in May after DeWine asked the Ohio Rail Development Commission to explore the feasibility and cost of Amtrak’s expansion.
In January, Amtrak released a plan of the location and stops of a potential Columbus station, planning to locate it at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, near the intersection of High Street and Nationwide Boulevard. Amtrak’s plan also includes proposed new station in Delaware and out-of-state expansion to Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit.
More than a decade ago, a similar proposal from Gov. John Kasich did not come to fruition due to maintenance costs. To see Amtrak’s full proposal, follow this link.