Good news in Ohio:
Hamilton County commissioners want Cincinnati-Chicago high-speed rail study
Sep 24, 2014, 5:38pm EDT
Cincinnati Business Courier
Hamilton County commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to sponsor a potential Cincinnati-to-Chicago high-speed rail project and ask the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments to fund a feasibility study for it.
The resolution passed by commissioners was a big first step toward making the project a reality. A study would develop a cost estimate and outline exactly what would need to be done to increase the frequency of trains between Cincinnati and Chicago at speeds of up to 110 mph. At that speed, travelers would be able to travel from Cincinnati’s Union Terminal to downtown Chicago’s Union Station in four hours.
The feasibility study is estimated to cost $150,000.
The vote “is a bold move forward toward creating multiple transit options for the people of Greater Cincinnati that in turn will become the catalyst for jobs and development in the OKI region,” said Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune. Portune, a Democrat, leads both the OKI Regional Council of Governments board and the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District.
And in Indiana:
Group Raising Money For Passenger Rail Study
updated: 9/24/2014 1:21:38 PM
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The board of directors of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance (IPRA) has voted to engage Transportation Economics and Management Systems, Inc, of Frederick, Maryland (TEMS), to prepare a business plan and economic impact study of a rail corridor that runs from Chicago to Cincinnati and to Louisville, by way of Dyer, Rensselaer, Lafayette, Crawfordsville, Indianapolis and Connersville.
The proposed study will cost between $150K and $200K, and will determine capital costs, the projected revenue and the operating expense of modern 21st Century passenger trains. The study will also include projections of the economic impact on the state and the various communities served by the trains. The study will be completed in about four months, once the funding is secured. The study is a prerequisite for an environmental impact study (EIS) of the corridor, and for securing the federal funding for capital improvements.
As a result, the Alliance will have a realistic estimate of the capital costs to be incurred by the infrastructure improvements; and which will support a 21st Century passenger rail operation in Indiana. Revenue and expense projections will also be used to predict the profitability of various combinations of the proposed speed and frequency of service. The end result will be a demonstration of the utility and economic viability of modern passenger rail across Indiana.
TEMS was chosen to compliment another passenger rail study it did in Indiana. The firm recently completed a feasibility study and business plan for the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA) which is headquartered in Fort Wayne. The focus of that study was a corridor from Chicago to Fort Wayne and Columbus. This study has since paved the way for an application to the Federal Rail Administration (FRA), sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), for matching funds for that corridor’s EIS.