Money for rail bound for Ohio

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Money for rail bound for Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch – Ohio's long-planned passenger rail corridor will get a $400 million federal boost today.

President Barack Obama is going to Florida to reveal how his administration will divvy up $8 billion in high-speed-rail funding, but the good news will whistle all the way up to the Buckeye State, say Gov. Ted Strickland, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Columbus.

Ohio's plan for passenger rail service linking Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton is going to get a significant chunk of the $517.6 million that state officials say they need to improve existing freight rail lines to passenger standards and to buy trains.

"This is some of the best news we have had in a long time," Brown said. "If I put my ear down to the rail, I think I hear a train coming."

Strickland said he thinks the funding will allow the state to do what it hoped to accomplish with passenger rail service "that will be good for the future of our state."

Brown said he has lobbied the Obama administration for months to give Ohio a healthy share of the $8 billion — part of the $787 billion stimulus package approved last year. He made a final, personal pitch to Obama last week.

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