Amtrak Has Announced Their Official Proposal For New Rail Lines Throughout The Country, Including Columbus

There have been whispers for months that Amtrak was hoping to bring new and improved passenger rail to Ohio, and now it’s been confirmed.

On Wednesday, Amtrak announced their plans for Amtrak ConnectUS, an initiative to add new or improved routes to add millions more passengers over 15 years. The plan includes several new lines throughout Ohio.

There are a variety of benefit of having passenger rail in Ohio. Travelling on Amtrak is more energy efficient than driving or flying. Improved rail service benefits local and regional economies and helps fill the gaps in transportation inequality.

Amtrak’s ConnectUS will expand or improve rail service for 20 million more riders, many of whom have no access to passenger rail at all.

via Amtrak

It was first reported back in February that Amtrak representatives had reportedly been meeting with Ohio leaders with the hope of pursuing passenger rail expansions throughout the state.

On Wednesday, President Biden released his American Jobs Plan, that included plans for infrastructure investment, economic recovery, climate change, and social equity, and $80 billion designated specifically for rail.

Amtrak plans to make the most of those funds.

“Amtrak has a bold vision to bring energy-efficient, world-class intercity rail service to up to 160 new communities across the nation, as we also invest in our fleet and stations across the U.S.,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “America needs a rail network that offers frequent, reliable, sustainable and equitable train service. Now is our time, let’s make rail the solution.”

Here in Columbus, we haven’t had any passenger rail service since 1977. The idea of being able to hop on a train and go to Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Chicago for the day would be a total game-changer for most Ohioans.

To learn more about Amtrak’s proposed expansion, you can visit their website here.

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