After rush to start 3C rail, project slows | The Columbus Dispatch

Full story: Columbus Dispatch

Some 10 weeks after lawmakers approved a $25 million study of passenger rail service linking Ohio's largest cities, the state has yet to ink a contract with the firm picked to do the study, raising fresh questions about the 2011 goal for getting the trains running.

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Liddleguy

Columbus, OH

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#1
Jul 3, 2010
 

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25 million for a study. I'd settle for $25.00 and a twelve pack to tell them it ain't going to work. In this modern age, people are going to drive their car, not get on a train. Parking fee in Cincy, train fare, cab or rental car in Cleveland, couple beers and a sandwich on the train,etc.versus $12.50 for gas for your own car.
Bobby

Columbus, OH

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#2
Jul 3, 2010
 

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Ohioans historically settle for Governor Taft-style mediocrity. We have minimal public transportation right now. 3C rail is a start in the right direction, but we demand far something better than 79 miles per hour trains. The monopoly freight railroad companies need to step up in the public interest. Our state is not just for their coal trains to cross. Our economy depends on having a better infrastructure. Otherwise we will continue to be a fly-over state.
NO WAY JOSE

Columbus, OH

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Jul 3, 2010
 

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Bobby wrote:
Ohioans historically settle for Governor Taft-style mediocrity. We have minimal public transportation right now. 3C rail is a start in the right direction, but we demand far something better than 79 miles per hour trains. The monopoly freight railroad companies need to step up in the public interest. Our state is not just for their coal trains to cross. Our economy depends on having a better infrastructure. Otherwise we will continue to be a fly-over state.
Tha maximum speed is 79 mph. The average speed over the Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland trip is closer to 39 mph. This is the 3-C rail promoter's estimate. 6 hours Cincinnati to Cleveland? No thanks, I'll drive.
Been there

Columbus, OH

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Jul 3, 2010
 

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Well the important thing is that they are spending $25 million for the study.......um, to tell them that the plan is feasible and they should move forward. Think of the stimulus effect the $25 mil will have. Should employ some university professors and provide them some extra spending money so they will be able to keep up with their neighbors working for the banks.
Liddleguy

Columbus, OH

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Jul 3, 2010
 

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Bobby wrote:
Ohioans historically settle for Governor Taft-style mediocrity. We have minimal public transportation right now. 3C rail is a start in the right direction, but we demand far something better than 79 miles per hour trains. The monopoly freight railroad companies need to step up in the public interest. Our state is not just for their coal trains to cross. Our economy depends on having a better infrastructure. Otherwise we will continue to be a fly-over state.
Since trains don't use a caboose anymore, maybe they could just put a passenger car on the end instead. That way we wouldn't need a separate train. A study has shown this passenger train will lose $17 million a year. Who's going to suck up this cost? Ohio taxpayers. Who's going to ride the train? There isn't going to be a train running every half hour. What, 2 trains a day? We already had this train service years ago AND NOONE RODE IT! The railroad, Pennsylvania RR, discontinued it because NOONE RODE IT! By the time they get this system in place, people will be driving their electric cars to Cleveland for a couple bucks worth of juice.

Since: Nov 09

Westerville, OH

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#6
Jul 3, 2010
 

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Bobby wrote:
Ohioans historically settle for Governor Taft-style mediocrity. We have minimal public transportation right now. 3C rail is a start in the right direction, but we demand far something better than 79 miles per hour trains. The monopoly freight railroad companies need to step up in the public interest. Our state is not just for their coal trains to cross. Our economy depends on having a better infrastructure. Otherwise we will continue to be a fly-over state.
1) It's not that simple. You can't go faster than 79 mph without spending billions. The engineering and infrastructure goes way beyond what we can do with $400 million in ARRA funds.

2) Freight railroads are not monopolies. Do you know what a monopoly is?

3) The Class I Railroads will never step up to the plate in the best interest of the public. The 3C corridor is nothing but a hindrance to their current operations.
too late

United States

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#7
Jul 3, 2010
 

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All public transportation costs money. Cota buses cost taxpayer money, should we take them off the road? How much do you think it costs for upkeep on I-71? If your logic of losing taxpayer money holds up then we should close down the freeways too. NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TURNS A PROFIT ANYWHERE. It also doesnt just go to Cleveland and Cincinnati. It reconnects Columbus to the national rail, you can go to New York, Chicago or California if you want. These same tired pinheads with the "its going to cost 17 million" argument are ridiculous. If thier logic holds up then lets close all roads, all airports, all trains etc.... Even walking is taxpayer funded if your walking on the sidewalk.

Since: Oct 09

Columbus, OH

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Jul 3, 2010
 

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too late wrote:
All public transportation costs money. Cota buses cost taxpayer money, should we take them off the road? How much do you think it costs for upkeep on I-71? If your logic of losing taxpayer money holds up then we should close down the freeways too. NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TURNS A PROFIT ANYWHERE.
Whether it makes a profit or not isn't the issue. The issue is whether it is good use of taxpayer money. We deem money spent to maintain interstates as good use because millions of drivers drive millions of miles on them every year. How many people are going to ride this train? Divide that number into its cost and you will find that, per person, rail will cost far more than the highway. Most people, including myself, think it isn't worth it.
Garl Boyd Latham

Irving, TX

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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My support for the 3C project has never wavered. I only hope the reasons behind this latest delay may be adequately addressed - and soon.

It's unfortunate that our federal government remains able to so completely undermine the very things they purport to champion. It is also overwhelmingly disheartening that they've worked so hard to remove every last vestige of free enterprise from the passenger transportation world. Long ago, we arrived at the point where taxpayer involvement is mandatory for any substantive gains to be made in the movement of people, regardless of mode.

Now, even though the clock is ticking, the rules are being changed! The same government which ostensibly exists to serve us citizens is attempting to inform private companies precisely how their property will be used, relying upon threats and intimidation to get their way.

What ever happened to free and equitable negotiation?!

All the while, the good people of Ohio are being held hostage by Washington. I suppose that's what they get for playing by the rules.

It was interesting to see Kenneth Prendergast of All Aboard Ohio state that a large share of these problems are being "driven by freight rail congestion." Regrettably, his comment - although true on the surface - simply reinforces a commonly accepted but technologically inaccurate distinction between "freight" and "passenger" railroads.

A railroad is a railroad, ESPECIALLY when it comes to the operation of conventional passenger train services! To insist that inherent differences exist eventually drives a wedge between two factions which should be in a position to act as faithful partners.

Presuming Mr. Prendergast was simply speaking of railroad congestion which comes through the operation of freight traffic - well, that's precisely the sort of traffic which the feds have just declared may NOT be assisted in any way through the application of taxpayer's funds!

For a more detailed look into these issues, please read one of my recent columns, entitled "Obama Speed Rail," posted to the Progressive Railroading web site:

http://myprogressiverailroading.com/blogs/gbl...

My sincere best wishes.

Garl B. Latham
Dallas, Texas
Enzyte Bob

Reynoldsburg, OH

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#10
Jul 5, 2010
 

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You sound like you're lobbying for somebody. Who pays you? Slow train hardware lobbyists?

For the same reason you would not build a house (in Ohio) on a slab only to tear it down later to add a basement, you do not build something with obsolete old technology just to get the system going.

Cost is rarely an issue. People embrace speed and efficiency. If cost were an issue, people wouldn't take planes to Florida, they would drive.

We have no problems throwing out perfectly good software, PC's, printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers, etc. because something better and faster is introduced. Likewise with the train.

Nobody, I repeat, Nobody will embrace a 39 mph choo choo, especially when they can take the MegaBus for less money (and it's faster).

So stop trying to sell us a bunch of old technology we are going to have to junk in a few years. We don't want it.
too late

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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Build what? We dont have to build anything. Stations maybe. There have been train tracks to Cleveland and Cinci for over 150 years. Fire up a train and there you go. They are not going to build track and then tear it down. DUH, which way did they go? Are we gonna catch a train George? Our routes will be assimilated into cross country routes that go everywhere. You can go to Chicago, or NYC for cheap with no reservations. The train ride to NYC is awesome, same with Chicago.
Pragmatism Lost

Chesterfield, MO

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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too late wrote:
All public transportation costs money. Cota buses cost taxpayer money, should we take them off the road? How much do you think it costs for upkeep on I-71? If your logic of losing taxpayer money holds up then we should close down the freeways too. NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TURNS A PROFIT ANYWHERE. It also doesnt just go to Cleveland and Cincinnati. It reconnects Columbus to the national rail, you can go to New York, Chicago or California if you want. These same tired pinheads with the "its going to cost 17 million" argument are ridiculous. If thier logic holds up then lets close all roads, all airports, all trains etc.... Even walking is taxpayer funded if your walking on the sidewalk.
It is incumbent upon the state so-called leaders to make the best overall use of taxpayer money. This project is a boondoggle of the highest order. If you need to subsidize public transportation to get lower income folks to the CCDC route, provide vouchers for the Greyhound Bus. We wouldn't even spend the $25 million to make that work, plus there is a great more flexibility.
For the life of me, I can not understand why some many people want to throw good money after bad just so the can appear "progressive" or "enlightened" like the Europeans. This is a different continent with different needs and solutions.
I say de-rail this horrible idea BEFORE you spend the $25 mil.
rebel

Columbus, OH

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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Make Love Not War wrote:
<quoted text>
Whether it makes a profit or not isn't the issue. The issue is whether it is good use of taxpayer money. We deem money spent to maintain interstates as good use because millions of drivers drive millions of miles on them every year. How many people are going to ride this train? Divide that number into its cost and you will find that, per person, rail will cost far more than the highway. Most people, including myself, think it isn't worth it.
Profit doesn't matter? You are talking about taxpayer dollars do you know that?
Strickland is done.
I PityThe Fool

Mentor, OH

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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Liddleguy wrote:
<quoted text>
Since trains don't use a caboose anymore, maybe they could just put a passenger car on the end instead. That way we wouldn't need a separate train. A study has shown this passenger train will lose $17 million a year. Who's going to suck up this cost? Ohio taxpayers. Who's going to ride the train? There isn't going to be a train running every half hour. What, 2 trains a day? We already had this train service years ago AND NOONE RODE IT! The railroad, Pennsylvania RR, discontinued it because NOONE RODE IT! By the time they get this system in place, people will be driving their electric cars to Cleveland for a couple bucks worth of juice.
Of course, the ICC made railroads run passenger service years longer than it was economically viable.

Nobody is going to ride this thing as long as they can just go, jump in their car, and go whenever they want. YOu don't need some fancy study to tell you that. A bonanza for consultants and staff that will end up sitting on some dusty shelf.
I PityThe Fool

Mentor, OH

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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too late wrote:
Build what? We dont have to build anything. Stations maybe. There have been train tracks to Cleveland and Cinci for over 150 years. Fire up a train and there you go. They are not going to build track and then tear it down. DUH, which way did they go? Are we gonna catch a train George? Our routes will be assimilated into cross country routes that go everywhere. You can go to Chicago, or NYC for cheap with no reservations. The train ride to NYC is awesome, same with Chicago.
Standing on a deserted platform on a cold winter night waiting for your train which is an hour late after being held up by a slow freight? Awesome? Uh, no thanks.

The view from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which I think parallels the PRR route, is just as awesome along with being much cheaper and more reliable.
Liddleguy

Columbus, OH

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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too late wrote:
Build what? We dont have to build anything. Stations maybe. There have been train tracks to Cleveland and Cinci for over 150 years. Fire up a train and there you go. They are not going to build track and then tear it down. DUH, which way did they go? Are we gonna catch a train George? Our routes will be assimilated into cross country routes that go everywhere. You can go to Chicago, or NYC for cheap with no reservations. The train ride to NYC is awesome, same with Chicago.
I would like for you to tell me where there are any tracks leaving Cowlumbus heading to Cleveland. The old Pennsylvania tracks that paralled Cleveland Ave and Westerville Road were torn up in the 1970's. If they used existing tracks that go thru Marion and take a roundabout route to Cleveland, you're adding a couple more hours to the ride. That would be a deal killer for most folks. It's would be at least a 4 hour ride if the tracks went straight to Cleveland. This service was shut down before for lack of ridership, why try it again. If at first you don't succeed, give up.
Just the Facts

Columbus, OH

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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Strickland could have given that money to the 460,000 unemployed Ohioan he ditched in HIS tenure as Governor of the Great State of Ohio.

JOBS JOBS JOBS, Mr. Strickland.
Not your political smoke and mirrors.

Just the Facts.
460,000 LOST while Strickland was at the helm.
Garl Boyd Latham

Irving, TX

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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Enzyte Bob:

How many shills do you know - especially on the internet, where anonymity is generally accepted - who'd be willing to use their real names?

I'm glad cost is rarely an issue for you. It is for many others. Since deregulation, the commercial airline industry has been competing for passengers business primarily upon the basis of cost.

If you ever have the time, you may enjoy digging through some data generated by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Overall, based upon their computations, it is actually more likely for someone in Ohio to drive to Florida than to travel by airplane. There are many reasons for this, with cost being among them.[Ever compare air fare for a family of four to the out-of-pocket expenses for gasoline?!]

Garl
Enzyte Bob

Reynoldsburg, OH

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Jul 5, 2010
 

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But you are what I say, is that not correct? You have some skin in the game, so to speak. Right?

Cost for an inferior or equal product is indeed an issue. Cost for a superior product is not.

You mention airlines. Airline profits are not driven by people like me who look for $79 fares. Airline profits are driven by business people who are driven by time and efficiency. A business person isn't going to wait until he can get a $79 fare before he can sees a client. Likewise when he is upgrading the computer system or any other expenditure that helps employees do their work better and faster.

Likewise when we are talking about the train. If you just want this thing to cart grandma up to Cleveland, this thing will be a loser for the reasons I mention. Consumer travel not only doesn't pay the bills, but grandma can still take the Megabus or the Greyhound.

Bottom line is that I would rather see this done the right way, a $1.2 billion stretch of true high-speed rail on the Columbus-Cleveland or Columbus-Cincinnati leg instead of wasting $600 million on something that putzes along at the same speed you can drive on a two-way street. If it works, fine. Expand it. if it doesn't, then it was a worthy experiment

Second issue is the bonehead politicians who want to route these stupid choo choos through downtown areas. Who goes downtown and what sense does that make? The right way do build the network is to have the terminal where the travel infrastructure is always in place: i.e. the Airport. But that's for another discussion.

Bottom line is that wasting $600 million on a slow train is just plain dumb. I would rather spend more on state-of-the art technology that has the potential to attract meaningful numbers of travelers instead of just having an expensive toy so the elderly can joy ride through Ohio.
Garl Boyd Latham wrote:
Enzyte Bob:
How many shills do you know - especially on the internet, where anonymity is generally accepted - who'd be willing to use their real names?
I'm glad cost is rarely an issue for you. It is for many others. Since deregulation, the commercial airline industry has been competing for passengers business primarily upon the basis of cost.
If you ever have the time, you may enjoy digging through some data generated by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Overall, based upon their computations, it is actually more likely for someone in Ohio to drive to Florida than to travel by airplane. There are many reasons for this, with cost being among them.[Ever compare air fare for a family of four to the out-of-pocket expenses for gasoline?!]
Garl
Garl Boyd Latham

Irving, TX

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For all those who fall into the "You'll-Get-My-Car-When-Y ou-Pry-My-Cold-Dead-Fingers-Of f-The-Steering-Wheel" category (but, presumably, do NOT work in the automotive industry!), I'd like to say two things:

1. Time efficiency possesses an intrinsic value. You claim one of the benefits to driving is the time factor; fair enough. One of the benefits to train travel is the ability to safely work or read or nap or eat while moving. I think it's called "multi-tasking"!

2. I've compiled some recent information concerning the ultimate cost of auto-centrism in another column, entitled "Do roads pay for themselves?" You're cordially invited to review it:

http://myprogressiverailroading.com/blogs/gbl...

Garl

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