© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Advocates For Passenger Rail Back Proposed Columbus-Chicago Link

Advocates for passenger rail service in Columbus are backing a proposal to start Columbus to Chicago service through Lima and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ken Prendergast of All Aboard Ohio, says Fort Wayne civic leaders envision 110 mile per hour passenger trains would run daily from Columbus to Chicago and back. "And that's what we call kind of a 'toe in the water' approach to introducing passenger rail service to a region that has not had it in a long time." Says Prendergast Columbus has lacked passenger rail service since September 30th, of 1979. A recent proposal to link Columbus, Cincinnati,and Cleveland with high speed rail service was dropped after Governor John Kasich rejected federal funds for the project. Prendergast says a feasibility study for the Columbus to Chicago service was given a green light with financial help from Fort Wayne business leaders. "There are parts of this country where they're not looking to the states for financial help. A lot of metropolitan areas are banding together to create what's called joint powers authority to administer projects and oversee passenger rail expansion." Prendergast says one way to get train service from Columbus to Chicago would be to extend an Amtrak route that runs from New York to Pittsburgh through Columbus and Fort Wayne.