Rail should spur Ohio

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Rail should spur Ohio

Wapakoneta Daily News – A high-speed rail project in Ohio secured part of $8 billion in federal grants, a move a U.S. Congressman says is “not just a huge investment in Ohio, but it is going to create jobs and economic opportunities.”

President Barack Obama announced $8 billion in grants for high-speed rail projects on Thursday, with the big winners being California, Florida and Ohio where trains will vary in speeds from exceeding 200 mph to top speeds of 79 mph. The program helps fund 13 passenger rail corridors in 31 states.

In Ohio, $400 million in Recovery Act funds are to be used to begin work on passenger rail lines connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton.

“I hear over and over that we haven’t in the last couple of decades done what we need to do with infrastructure and it really has left our children and grandchildren with an infrastructure deficit,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Thursday during a media teleconference. “This is a major downpayment in moving in the right direction.”

A study shows expanding passenger rail service in Ohio could result in more than 16,000 jobs, generate more than $3 billion in development near stations and create approximately $80 million for the state’s tourism industry.

“Improving our passenger rail infrastructure we know creates jobs, we know will set the table as highway construction does in regard to business development and growth, we know it will help Americans’ paychecks go further,” Brown said. “China and European nations have already committed billions to high-speed rail to connect workers with new jobs, to expand markets and businesses and to make travel more efficient and affordable — and we can do this in Ohio.”

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