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Ohio’s high-speed rail plans

Thanks to the Obama Administration, $8 billion was worked into the stimulus plan for high-speed rail projects. President Obama also plans to request $1 billion annually over the next five years for high-speed rail.

This is great for the United States and especially great for the Midwest and Ohio. Ohio has been working on right-of-way acquisitions, track upgrades and other items over the past several years to set up for a high-speed rail system operating at 120+mph.

Have you ever wondered how much it would change the face of Ohio? Maybe a Cincinnatian would attend a World Cup Qualifier in Columbus with only a short 1 hour 30 minute train ride. Maybe Cincinnatians would travel north, on a 2.5 hour train ride, to visit Lake Erie during the Summer months instead of taking the 12 hour car ride to Florida.

It makes a lot of sense given Ohio’s population density, distribution and layout. It is one of the most densely populated regions/states in the entire nation and is set up extremely well for this kind of a rail system (Ohio Hub Maps/Plans/Details).

3-C Corridor in green

If you would like to see such a system become reality write to your state senator and representatives in Columbus and also drop your D.C. senator and representatives a line while you’re at it. Let them know that this is Ohio’s future and that you want them to take the political lead in bringing high-speed rail to Ohio.

Ohio is poised to get $8.2 billion from the stimulus plan approved today by President Obama. Of this only a portion will go to high-speed rail. Let your representatives know that a significant allocation, of these resources, should go to high-speed rail and that your vote depends on it.

Please share your thoughts on the system, and how you might use it once it’s in place, in the comment section.

Watch a 1:21 long video about the Ohio Hub system

UPDATE: The FRA has designated ten high-speed corridors under section 1010 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and Section 1103(c) of the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). Designation allows a corridor to receive specially targeted funding for highway-rail grade crossing safety improvements, and recognizes the corridor as a potential center of HSR activity.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.