Northeastern Ohio Regional Coordinating Agency calls for federal funds to examine whether railways from Cleveland to Chicago are on track

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WASHINGTON, DC – A bipartisan group of lawmakers from Ohio, Illinois and Indiana support a request for a grant from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) to study how to reduce passenger and freight congestion along the 341 mile rail corridor between Chicago and Cleveland.

A letter to the Federal Railroad Administration led by Democratic Representative for Toledo Marcy Kaptur says bottlenecks along the corridor are creating significant delays for passengers and freight, and “now is the time for a Comprehensive analysis of assets and resources to improve the speed and safety of rail passengers and freight carriers and improve post-pandemic economic growth in the Great Lakes region.

NOACA submitted its request for the $ 2.56 million grant on Monday, according to Kaptur’s office.

Letter from Congress says the rail corridor connects the people and economies of Cleveland, Elyria, Sandusky, Toledo, Bryan, Waterloo, Elkhart, South Bend, Gary and Chicago, and a comprehensive analysis of its assets and investments “represents a cost-effective approach to improving the nation’s rail network: upgrading existing rail corridors.”

“As the country reinvests in its transport network to reduce carbon emissions and improve the efficient and equitable movement of people and goods, this vital corridor is ripe for investment,” the letter said. “This study would identify the appropriate investments to improve the movement of passengers and goods, which is much more efficient than building new corridors. Support from your agency would allow NOACA to improve rail speed and safety while advancing economic growth in the Great Lakes region.

U.S. Senators from Ohio, Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce of Bainbridge Township and Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River, and Democrats Shontel Brown of Warrensville Heights, Frank Mrvan of Indiana and Bobby Rush of Illinois, Danny joined Kaptur in signing the letter. Davis, Robin Kelly and Marie Newman.

Kaptur’s office said decisions about Federal Railroad Administration grants typically take four to six months. The Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Program providing the grant is funded to the tune of nearly $ 362 million in fiscal 2021, according to Kaptur’s office.

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