Amtrak is planning to expand passenger train service in Ohio that would include routes stretching from Cincinnati as far north as Cleveland, plus four times a day service between Cincinnati and Chicago. But it needs new funding from Congress to do it.
Plans also call for expanded service to Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York state.
In total, Amtrak officials are pursuing federal funds for five new routes, according to a press release:
- Four daily round trips with intermediate station stops between Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago. Currently, there are three one-way trips between Cincinnati and Chicago each week.
- Three daily round trips with intermediate station stops in Ohio between Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland.
- Three daily round trips with intermediate station stops between Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit.
- Two daily round trips with intermediate station stops between Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.
- And, one daily round trip with intermediate station stops between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
The five routes would be initiated with federal funds from a proposed new federal passenger rail program.
Amtrak officials are already meeting with leaders in cities where they plan to expand services, according to a blueprint the passenger rail company developed in conjunction with state and federal transportation officials.
But the program depends on support from Congress and the Biden administration.
President Joe Biden, a longtime passenger rail supporter known as “Amtrak Joe,” has pledged a “second great railroad revolution” with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress.
Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the proposed new rail funding program, but it died in the U.S. Senate.