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The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) recently signed off on a plan to seek up to $400 million in federal stimulus funds for the 3C "Quick Start" Passenger Rail Plan, which calls for connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati with high-speed rail service.
ORDC will apply for the funds under the Federal Railroad Administration's Track 2 funding program as part of the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program. Applications are due by Oct. 2. ORDC and Ohio Department of Transportation officials currently are conducting an environmental assessment for the 3C projects, the results of which will be included in the stimulus application.
The commission is proposing to develop a system over which trains could operate at speeds up to 79 mph by 2011; service later would be upgraded to 110 mph. More than 60 percent of Ohio's population lives within 20 miles of the corridor, according to ORDC. The corridor would connect to the Chicago Hub network.
This month, the commission is holding a series of public meetings so the public can comment on the proposal.
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