Ohio releases faster passenger train schedule
Friday, September 24, 2010 11:33 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new analysis says trains running on Ohio’s passenger rail project are capable of completing the entire Cleveland-to-Cincinnati route in just over 5 hours, about 90 minutes faster than a previous estimate.
State transportation officials say the new schedule is based a more detailed computer study of trains on the 255-mile route and would make the service more competitive with driving.
President Barack Obama in January awarded Ohio $400 million in stimulus money for a startup rail service with trains reaching 79 mph by late 2012 or 2013.
Also Friday, Ohio received federal approval to spend the first $15 million in stimulus funds. The money will help Ohio hire outside consultants to identify specifications for train equipment and select an operator, possibly Amtrak.
So that’s 255 miles in 5 hours, or 51 MPH on average. That’s a lot more time-competitive with driving than the previous 39 MPH average. It could even be faster than driving if you intend to stop for gas or food somewhere on the way.
So will the politicians stop complaining about the train’s speed now and accept $400 in federal funds to build this for Ohio? Probably not, but I’m still having trouble seeing why. According to a Quinnipac poll, a large majority of Ohioans are in favor of this project.