The program will allow potential sponsors and supporters to work with the FRA to take a comprehensive approach to route development that minimizes operational risk to providers while maximizing traveler and freight benefits. This could lead to improved freight service as well as restored passenger service to rural, Appalachian Ohio, suburban, and urban areas while creating new workforce access and spurring economic development.
The program consists of three steps to identify the characteristics (e.g., station locations, frequencies, financial plan, etc.) necessary to establish service along the route, complete preliminary engineering for any needed capital improvements, and perform necessary environmental studies. MORPC is supporting two grant applications for $500,000 each to begin the first step of the program and ultimately prepare these passenger rail corridors for future service.