Is Cincy-Chicago partnership a precursor to more trains?

Travel options are increasing for Ohioans thanks to new Amtrak partnerships which could be a prelude to rail service expansion. (Ken Prendergast photo)

Travel options are increasing for Ohioans thanks to new Amtrak partnerships which could be a prelude to passenger rail service expansions. (Ken Prendergast photo)

Amtrak reported this week that it has expanded its Thruway Bus Service partnership with Greyhound Lines to offer improved transportation choices and simplified, joint ticketing between Cincinnati plus other cities and Amtrak’s Chicago hub. This comes on news that Greyhound and Megabus may relocate into Cincinnati’s Riverfront Transportation Center which is accessible to the new streetcar. And there is news that West Virginia is showing interest in a daily Amtrak Cardinal service (see news article below the timetable).

Passengers traveling between Cincinnati, Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis and points north to Chicago will now have more schedule choices by riding the Amtrak Cardinal and Hoosier State (Trains 50/850 & 51/851) in one direction and the option of returning by bus, all booked through Amtrak.com or the Amtrak Mobile apps. Or passengers can ride the bus to Chicago and connect to an Amtrak train to anywhere in the USA. These service expansions are another example of the growing business relationship between Amtrak and Greyhound that has led the motor coach operator to open a ticket office at Chicago Union Station.

This joint arrangement is an extension of through-ticketing previously done by Amtrak between Chicago and Louisville, via Indianapolis. Schedules are posted below. The expanded through-ticketing arrangements on existing Greyhound buses to Ohio was restored last summer with a partnership to link Columbus with trains at Pittsburgh. This Columbus linkage was last offered by Amtrak and Greyhound more than a decade ago. All Aboard Ohio is happy to see these linkages as interim steps toward more passenger rail service. They can be an toe-in-the-water approach to test for a potentially much larger ridership base for trains.

Thruway Schedule

CLICK TIMETABLE TO ENLARGE IMAGE

[Background for the next story: The Cardinal is an Amtrak train route operating thrice-weekly east/west Chicago – Indianapolis – Cincinnati – Charleston – Charlottesville – Washington DC – Baltimore – Philadelphia – New York City and many intermediate stations. See Amtrak route information for The Cardinal HERE]

Courtesy of the West Virginia Gazette:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
STATE RAIL SERVICE STUDIES WOULD COST $400,000, LAWMAKERS TOLD
by Phil Kabler, Staff writer

Full-scale studies to determine the feasibility of passenger rail service between Charleston and Huntington, and between Fairmont, Morgantown and Pittsburgh, would cost about $400,000, the director of the state Rail Authority told legislators Tuesday.

“A full-blown feasibility study for the two would be about $400,000,” Cindy Butler told the interim Select Committee on Infrastructure.

In February, the House of Delegates passed a resolution calling for a study of the feasibility of high-speed commuter rail service in the state.

Butler noted that, by definition, high-speed rail operates at maximum speeds in excess of 110 mph and requires dedicated right-of-ways with no grade crossings. Also, she noted, commuter rail is a specific type of passenger service, dedicated to getting workers to and from urban centers from outlying residential areas.

However, she said the State Rail Plan, approved last December, calls for feasibility studies for the two proposed passenger rail corridors.

The studies would analyze ridership forecasts, potential revenues and operating costs, and potential funding sources and subsidies.

Butler said Federal Rail Authority requires state cost-sharing for all intercity rail service routes of under 750 miles – which both proposed rail corridors would fall under.

The State Rail Plan also calls for expanding MARC commuter rail service in the Eastern Panhandle, and expanding Amtrak’s Cardinal route from three days a week to daily service, she said.

“That’s a big thing we’d like to see, the Cardinal going to every day,” Butler said.

To read more, see the original article HERE.

END

2 Comments to "Is Cincy-Chicago partnership a precursor to more trains?"

  1. October 24, 2016 - 1:11 PM | Permalink

    Will Amtrak ever come to Columbus Ohio? To get to an Amtrak station ,you have to travel at least 100 miles in ANY direction to get to one

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