Cleveland, Ohio — Amtrak plans a massive expansion of passenger rail service through Cleveland and Ohio as part of the massive infrastructure investment outlined by President Joseph Biden this week.
The lobby group All Aboard Ohio said that if implemented, passenger rail service through Cleveland may increase from the current four trains per day to 22 trains.
“You might even see trains passing during the day,”
The Amtrak proposal includes new services between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati, a route that railroad advocates have long hoped for.
The plan also includes: new services between Cleveland and Detroit, as well as service expansion to Toledo, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, New York City and other places.
Throughout the United States, Amtrak proposes to provide new and expanded services in every region (including Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Nevada, and others).
It is not clear how the proposal will be passed in Congress. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hopes the House of Representatives will vote on the bill before July 4.
Even so, any final legislation may look very different from this week’s proposal.
Republican congressmen in particular expressed concern about the plan’s huge price tag, which is as high as $2 trillion, partly due to the increase in corporate taxes.
U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce from the town of R-Bainbridge said he wanted to learn more about Amtrak’s proposal, but was still concerned about the total cost of the infrastructure plan.
Joyce said via email: “We have many communities that will benefit from increased connectivity with the rest of Buckeye State and other regions.” Passenger rail demand and freight rail demand provide funding and balance, but I hope to learn more details and work with local, state, and federal government officials to determine whether we can achieve this goal.”
He added: “Infrastructure has long been one of our country’s most important needs. As Congress begins to make laws based on the framework issued by the President earlier this week, I urge my colleagues to work in the aisles, So that we can provide the American people with a two-party system and fiscally responsible infrastructure that will not only create jobs, but will not increase our $28 trillion in debt or threaten our long-term economic stability.”
At the same time, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown expressed strong support for the provision of more train services through the state.
He said: “I strongly support Amtrak because the expanded rail service not only provides Ohioans with reliable transportation options, but also creates jobs, develops our economy and reduces road congestion.” “For a long time. , We have seen cuts in the transportation system and insufficient funding. Now, especially with President Biden, Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg, and the Democratic Congress, I am optimistic that we can rebuild our country again Infrastructure and invest the necessary resources to develop our passenger rail system.”
At the same time, Nicholson believes that most lawmakers in Ohio can persuade the proposal to benefit the state.
In the past few months, All Aboard Ohio has been supporting Amtrak’s expansion, collecting approval statements from the entire Ohio community, including Cleveland, Ohio.
Although Nicholson is optimistic, he cautions against being impatient-even after the initial funding is approved, any plan to provide new Amtrak service through Ohio will take several years.
In many cases, communities including Columbus will have to rebuild the train station. He said that the track and other infrastructure will also have to be upgraded.
He said Cleveland might want to consider whether it should keep its passenger train station near the lake near the First Energy Stadium or relocate it to the terminal that would eventually receive passenger trains in the mid-1970s.
Another possibility for moving to northeast Ohio is to add an Amtrak stop at or near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Ken Prendergast, Ohio’s “all-on-board” public affairs director, said Amtrak proposed the idea of multimodal transportation near the airport at a meeting with the organization and city officials in February. . The station will connect train passengers with air services throughout the region.
Nicholson said he was excited about this possibility. He said: “I know someone outside will call him another idiot.” “No. This is a serious national transportation plan.”
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Amtrak plans a major expansion in Cleveland and may provide services to Columbus, Cincinnati