Columbus-Chicago Passenger rail initiative clears hurdle

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Hotbox
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Columbus-Chicago Passenger rail initiative clears hurdle

Post by Hotbox » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:22 pm

http://wane.com/2016/12/19/feds-support ... ort-wayne/

Mayor Henry claims this development would make Fort Wayne a "destination". Not sure what he's smokin', but that seems an over statement.

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Re: Columbus-Chicago Passenger rail initiative clears hurdle

Post by Wayne Gest » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:38 am

I hope I'm wrong but I wonder how many travelers think, "Hey, let's go to Fort Wayne". This would be great for traveling to Chicago, not sure how many people want to go to Columbus. I grew up in Central Ohio and it would be a great thrill for me to ride a passenger train from Fort Wayne to Columbus but I have to wonder how many others would feel the same. Perhaps if the end of the route were near the airport, recently renamed for John Glenn.

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Re: Columbus-Chicago Passenger rail initiative clears hurdle

Post by Bob Durnell » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:05 am

I have often wondered if ANYBODY has bothered to ask CSX what they think about this. Without their cooperation, this project is dead before it even can get started. AND, even if they get speeds up to 110 MPH (which costs a TON of money, just ask Michigan) I'm not convinced that fast enough to get the business away from cars and planes. I also do not believe there is enough potential passengers in this corridor to make this viable even by the loose standards of passenger rail viability.
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Re: Columbus-Chicago Passenger rail initiative clears hurdle

Post by Hotbox » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:45 pm

I realize that I can only speak for myself. And, I see the return of passenger service to Ft. Wayne as a positive development.

But yeah, I see the primary benefit as being more along the lines of giving Ft Wayne residents a destination to travel to, and I'm not sure Columbus is a desirable eastern terminus, somewhere on the east coast would be much more fitting. And I doubt NS has much desire to share their route through Pittsburgh.

I suspect Henry's presenting this as potentially making Ft Wayne a destination opportunity, is little more than a sugar coating for future appeals for public $$$upport . (can the pretty conceptual drawings be far behind? *gag*)

But, we'll see. I'll admit that the primary barrier to my making more use of Amtrak is the Waterloo thing, and with some good interchange opportunity in Chicago that barrier might come crashing down, so that is something to look forward to.

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Re: Columbus-Chicago Passenger rail initiative clears hurdle

Post by Hotbox » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:45 pm

One thing I have found interesting is how current interest for this line in Ohio seems to go only about as far east as Lima :
http://nbc4i.com/2016/12/21/proposal-co ... tral-ohio/

excerpt:

"Monday, cities along the route from Lima, Ohio to northwest Indiana announced they were moving forward with funding a crucial study, the first step to making the rail line a reality. Columbus and Marysville aren’t included.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission said, “The Lima to Columbus portion of the Phase 1 Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is currently being considered by the regional partners. It has not been financed at this time and there is interest in pursuing it in 2017.”


Clearly the Mayor of Columbus sees higher priority to be elsewhere :

"We reached out to Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther asking if he supports the rail project.
A spokesman gave us this statement, “Mayor Ginther is committed the future of mobility through the Smart Columbus initiative. He will be focusing his transportation efforts on smart logistics, expanded mobility options and an environmentally sustainable transportation system here in Columbus.”

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Re: Columbus-Chicago Passenger rail initiative clears hurdle

Post by Hotbox » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:29 pm

Bob Durnell wrote: Without their cooperation, this project is dead before it even can get started.
Just speculating, but CSX seems to be eager to mothball surplus capacity, even routes dear to the hearts of many, (Clinchfield as an example)

So, CSX might even find enthusiasm in trading this line for a nice big fat check from the general fund.

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