Ohio really gets it.
The final draft report of the Ohio Hub Study was released this past week, and is available for download.
Good transportation policy certainly goes deeper than a great web site, but it helps to present sensible concepts about ground transportation in a professional maner. This internet site is a beauty.
These people have it together, proposing a conventional regional network of “fast” passenger trains. This made is distinct from the European “high speed” model, which run on dedicated tracks at 200 mph. These American trains will operate at an authorized speed of 110 mph. The concept calls for improvements to the existing rail infrastructure increasing capacity so that passenger and freight operate harmoniously.
The travel corridors are:
The system involves the construction and operation of 1,244 miles of intercity/interstate passenger rail service with 46 stations. It would serve 22 million people, and that point is absolutely critical. There is an existing vibrant market for improved transportation choices. They have something going for them that folks in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas don’t – 12 major metropolitan areas and a bunch of smaller cities and towns.
The planners have their heads on straight about station location, placing some adjacent to airports. The equipment would consist of 33 new train sets costing $18 million each. That is $594 million in rolling stock. More about costs in a moment.
An interesting aspect of this study is the differentiation between 79 mph service and trains at 110 mph. The faster schedules increase passenger loads by 50%, but double revenue, since business travelers will pay more for the efficiency. Over nine million people will use this network.
All of this is part of a regional grid which, in concept, extends to the east coast and west to Minneapolis. It’s synergistic.
The total cost for Ohio is around $5 billion.
Maybe this is not completely fair, but just for argument’s sake, let’s put that sum up against the $200 million -dollar per day cost of the war in Iraq. The Ohio project would be paid for in 25 days at this rate.
One reason the comparison doesn’t work is that, when Ohio endorses this sensible project, it will gain some benefits. How would it be to have construction jobs, and great transportation company providing quality service and good jobs? There is also an increase in urgently needed freight hauling capacity.
There is so much more to say, but you should take some time and download the reports from The Ohio Hub website. It’s very professional.
Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail