We are so far behind in rail transportation we don't need to waste money on something else.
In my opinion the CCC rail plan was doomed to failure as it was based on using the same rails as freight limiting its avg. speed to 45mph. Now that the Federal money is freed up we can move... forward on a true high speed rail system using off the shelf technology that allows for a completely separate set of tracks. check out www.tubularrail.com The route I propose as a test would follow I680 in Baordman, OH with a station in downtown Youngstown, it would then follow the old B&O right of way with a station in Niles, Warren, and terminating at the GM plant in Lordstown, OH. once that is completed and people see it working and attracting riders, we could then get additional funding to extend the line South to Pittsburgh and North to Cleveland with either a spur to Akron or routing through Akron. This would connect the medical and Technology corridor as well as provide great cultural and recreational travel options.NoJimbo is 100% correct the money can only be used for a passenger rail project, or it has to be returned, The White House has already said so to Kasich.
It doesn't matter what needs done worse, the money was sent to OH for the specific purpose of rail use. Plain and simple.
If you get approved for an auto loan, and then tell the bank you decided you really need the money to get groceries and pave your driveway because those things are more important, the bank's not likely to still give you the loan.
The money was given to Ohio for rail only the governor should look to see if it cant be use to improve the rail freight trains run on something that can only help ohio manufacturing compete.
"If they weren't building new rails, why did they need 400 million dollars?"
I'm no expert, but I think the money was for: upgrading the rails, equipment, and stations.
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