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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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The economic impact of passenger rail service in Ohio will be the focus of the spring meeting of the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association June 11 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg.

Issues such as where the major train stations will be when passenger rail increases in Ohio and what increased rail traffic will mean for development around the depots will be addressed at the meeting, organizers said.

The meeting will start at 11:30 a.m.  and is scheduled to end at 1:15 p.m.

Scheduled speakers are Mandy Kisling Bishop, co-deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation; Shane Imwalle, of Woolpert, a design and engineering firm, and James Richardson, III, of Forrest City Commercial Group.

The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments works with the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association, Ohio Rail Development Commission, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, All Aboard Ohio, and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments for more passenger rail service for the region.

TMACOG’s passenger rail committee has a goal of compiling a list by October of recommended projects and initiatives for inclusion in the council’s 2011 update of its long-range transportation plan.

Gov. Ted Strickland’s executive budget proposed for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 includes as a priority for the state’s transportation department to construct the first phase of the (3C) passenger rail line.

In January, the governor announced the state received $400 million in federal stimulus money for intercity passenger rail.

He said the state’s goal was to launch service by 2012 of the passenger rail corridor connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati with daily train service for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The state’s initial application for stimulus funds requested $564 million – a figure from a 2009 Amtrak study that included estimates for upgrading infrastructure, station stops, and equipment.

Friday’s forum is open to the public. There is a $20 registration fee.

For information contact TMACOG at (419) 241-9155, ext. 117.

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