Amtrak Proposes Five New Routes in Ohio

The nation’s most populous state without an intercity passenger rail program could be the benefit of ambitions to expand the network of Amtrak service around the country.

February 4, 2021, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Amtrak service from Ashtabula to Cleveland is included in a proposed reauthorization of the federal Surface Transportation Bill, reports Shelly Terry.

Terry is reporting from Ashtabula, but the idea of a new station in the city has broader implications for Amtrak service all over Ohio and the country.

According to the All Aboard Ohio blog, the proposal that would bring a station to Ashtabula is part of a much bigger package of new routes—both for Ohio and the nation. In Ohio, Amtrak is proposing five new routes in all, to be funded with federal transportation dollars:

  • Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati (3C) Corridor: three daily round trips with intermediate station stops;
  • Cincinnati-Indianapolis-Chicago: four daily round trips with intermediate station stops;
  • Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit-Pontiac: three daily round trips with intermediate station stops, including a possible extension of Wolverine Corridor train service from Chicago;
  • Cleveland-Buffalo-Albany-New York: two daily round trips with intermediate station stops;
  • Cleveland-Pittsburgh-New York: one daily round trip with intermediate station stops via an extension of Keystone Corridor train service.

Around the entire country, Amtrak is "requesting $300 million per year from Congress to develop high-potential corridors (corridors are routes under 750 miles)," according to the article.

Amtrak made news for its expansion plans back in the fall of 2020. The Amtrak System 2035 map circulating at the time includes the five new Ohio routes. The potential of all these high-potential corridors to come to fruition is obviously dependent on the support of Congress during the process of reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Bill and the signature of President Joe Biden. Democrats in the House of Representatives approved the $500 billion INVEST in America Act to reauthorize the five-year federal transportation bill in summer of 2020. 

Friday, January 29, 2021 in All Aboard Ohio

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