Trains For America

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State projects (Ohio, California) energized by passing of HR 6003 in House

Last Wednesday the House of Representatives passed HR 6003, which, in addition to increasing Amtrak’s budget, frees up grants for rail projects designated as high-speed. While President Bush has threatened to veto this forward thinking legislation for the benefit of his buddies in the oil, air, and auto industries, the bill has now passed both the House and the Senate with veto-proof majorities.

Although the House version, which has the language pertaining to high-speed rail, still needs to be reconciled with its Senate counterpart, states are already looking forward to the boosts their projects might receive if this legislation becomes law. California, which, as readers of this blog know, has been a focal point recently in the battle for fast trains, sees itself as one of the beneficiaries, but it’s not the only one. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that planners of Ohio’s proposed rail system see hope in federal funds.

“This is a huge step,” said Stu Nicholson of the Ohio Rail Development Commission. “A bill like this could make the difference between a plan and a project.”

Ohio began working on the hub plan more than a decade ago with a mission to improve both passenger and freight rail service.

The plan includes more than 1,200 miles of track and 46 stations. The seven corridors would connect to planned or existing networks in neighboring states and southern Ontario

With the federal government hesitant to invest directly in high-speed trains, it’s good to see that regional projects are getting ready to take advantage of federal funds. This may be how America sees it own high speed rail network getting built: region by region, state by state. Let’s just hope that other states will catch on to this trend and not be left behind.

Ohio rail project site: here

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Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail, , , , , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. Allan says:

    And the states should take the lead. What I hope is that Washington gives them a free hand in deciding what they want whether it is regular rail, HSR, or maglev.

  2. […] prices has helped Amtrak achieve record ridership levels. Congress has finally given the company a legislative boost. Things are generally looking up for passenger rail, […]

  3. Kenneth Cherry says:

    My daughter, who livesin Dayton, travels frequently on business to Columbus and to Cincinnati, and her business in both those cities is downtown.

    What a benefit high speed rail would be to her, not to mention the savings in fuel use and costs.

    Instead of concentrating on driving in heavy interstate traffic, she would be able to turn her tain time into office time, and have the added benefit of relaxation instead of traffice vexation.

    Ohio has the combination of urban population concentration and relatively short distances between major cities to serve the nation as a model of how high speed rail can benefit the nation.

    And the basic track routes are already in place with only upgrading of roadbed and track required.

  4. Kenneth Cherry says:

    My daughter, who livesin Dayton, travels frequently on business to Columbus and to Cincinnati, and her business in both those cities is downtown.

    What a benefit high speed rail would be to her, not to mention the savings in fuel use and costs.

    Instead of concentrating on driving in heavy Interstate traffic, she would be able to turn her train time into office time, and have the added benefit of relaxation instead of traffic vexation.

    Ohio has the combination of urban population concentration and relatively short distances between major cities to serve as a model of how high speed rail can benefit the nation.

    Plus the basic track routes are already in place with only upgrading of roadbed and track required.

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