May 17, 2022 - News

A ride on D.C.'s Metro shows what Ohio could have

An Amtrak train departing a station. An Amtrak train departing a station.

Photo: Luke Sharrett/AFP via Getty Images

👋 Tyler here. Our Axios company retreat doesn't start until tomorrow, but I got to Washington, D.C., a few days early strictly for professional reasons.

  • By that I mean to watch baseball, eat a dozen panini and generally solve the nation's problems.

🚄 It only took a few hours to prove my axiom about being an Ohio traveler:

A tweet reading, "Being an Ohioan is just traveling to other states and getting jealous at their passenger trains."
Via Twitter.

Between the rail lines: For several years, I've written about Ohio's lack of passenger rail connecting our biggest cities.

  • Numerous Columbus residents and activists have told me variations of: I would love to take the train to a Cleveland Browns/Cincinnati Reds game, have a few drinks, then head back home that night.

Driving the news: My trips to and from Nationals Park this past weekend convinced me those people would follow through if given the option.

The ride into town: Our train gradually filled with fans sporting the Nationals' red, white and navy blue.

  • Then came the mass exodus at the Navy Yard-Ballpark station, a mere quarter-mile walk from the stadium.

Afterward, my train car back to the hotel included a few passengers who … enjoyed the park's refreshments as much as the Nationals' 13-6 win over Houston, let's just say.

  • They were boisterous, but I didn't mind. It sure beat any of them driving home drunk.

Catch up quick: The national bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law last year includes billions of dollars toward passenger rail expansion.

  • Amtrak has proposed a "3C+D" line connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati, along with a new link between Toledo and Detroit.
  • A proposed spot for the local station is the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

What's next: This project is in the early planning stages and Gov. Mike DeWine has asked the state rail development commission to analyze its cost and feasibility, we reported last month.


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