The Federal Railroad Administration has selected four routes serving Ohio and other states as priorities for Amtrak expansion, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Tuesday.
The routes are Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati, Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit, Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus-Pittsburgh and the Cardinal Service serving New York City, Washington and Chicago, which would go daily from its current thrice-weekly schedule, Brown said in a news release.
"Today's announcement is a great first step toward expanding Amtrak in Ohio," Brown said in the release. "Good Amtrak service shouldn't be a privilege only for people on the coasts. These new routes would expand opportunity, help grow businesses and create jobs, and connect communities in Ohio and across the Midwest."
Ohio, Amtrak and metropolitan planning organizations will now begin corridor development efforts including the preparation of service development plans, Brown said.
The railroad administration will provide $500,000 to each corridor for planning, he said.
In September, officials announced that Amtrak would be able to send two roundtrips a day from Pittsburgh to New York after PennDOT and Norfolk Southern finalized an agreement to expand passenger rail service.
The Pennsylvanian Amtrak service is a passenger rail route that connects the state from east to west, and, in conjunction with the Capitol Limited, with Cleveland, Chicago and beyond. The Pennsylvanian travels Norfolk Southern's Pittsburgh line, which is part of a main artery between Chicago and New York.
"This agreement lays the groundwork for expanded passenger rail service in Western Pennsylvania while simultaneously preserving a critical freight rail corridor," PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said in a news release.
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