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Infrastructure bill gives green light for ‘historic’ Amtrak funding

Amtrak is looking to add a line through the 3C+D corridor, which connects Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Part of the infrastructure bill that was signed Monday by President Biden will put $66.6 billion into the investment of Amtrak. This includes the expansion of passenger trains in Ohio.

“When it comes to passenger rail, this is transformational. There's never been this kind of investment in passenger rail probably since the New Deal Era," said Stu Nicholson of All Aboard Ohio, an advocacy group for transportation.

 Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia said he thinks the second passenger rail revolution is here.

"With the signing of this bill today by President Biden, the second great passenger rail revolution is here – and Amtrak and its state and federal partners are ready to lead the way," Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia said.

Part of the expansion will extend through the 3C+D corridor, which goes through Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. Columbus hasn't seen passenger rail since 1979. The 3C corridor hasn't been used for passenger rail since the early 1970s.

“There has never been that kind of investment in passenger rail in this country, not since the creation of Amtrak,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson predicts central Ohio could see the Amtrak route in three to four years. He expects the first step will be doing studies to look at what needs to be fixed for the train to roll.

“For instance what bridges might need to be strengthened, what bridges of railroads might need to be replaced,” Nicholson said.

Amtrak said this plan will create more than half a million jobs in local communities by 2035.

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