Ohio wants a link in Amtrak’s Connects US proposal, so officials are looking into passenger rail expansion in the state.
Gov. Mike DeWine has asked the Ohio Rail Development Commission to engage with Amtrak to determine the feasibility and cost of the routes identified in the plan. The Connects US proposal has what is called the 3C+D route which connects Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati via Dayton. It would cost about $100 million to construct the line, which would have three daily round trips and carry an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 passengers a year.
Dayton offered passenger rail service until 1979, and Ohio received $400 million in federal stimulus funding for a proposed 3C line that came with stops in Dayton, Riverside, and Springfield. Then Ohio Gov. John Kasich killed the deal because he said it would call for millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.
A feasibility study for the 3C+D route could take up to a year to complete. The Federal Railroad Administration will be taking formal proposals in 2022 from states and other interested groups. The agency will select corridors for participation in the program based on readiness to begin development, projected cost, economic impact, ridership, and other factors.