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Where would you put commuter rail around Columbus?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation Where would you put commuter rail around Columbus?

This topic contains 56 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  michaelcoyote 4 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #338626

    futureman
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    michaelcoyote wrote >>

    I’m not sure about the Delaware lines. I thought this would be a natural due to the density of people around the lines, but now I’m not so sure. It is fairly well served by roads.

    I’d actually say Delaware is not served by roads very well. All it has is 23 as a major connection to Columbus. 71 is too out of the way to help out. 23 can be slow going, stop lights and a descent amount of traffic. I can’t see 23 being upgraded to pseudo limited access freeway like 33 heading to Lancaster. Still not sure which is better line, the 315 corridor or 71. Now I’m leaning towards the 71 line because COTA already selected this twice(?) as the first starter line for light rail. I’m sure they have research to back it up.

    According to City-Data.com Delaware also experienced a 34% growth in population from 2000 to 2008, twice the percentage as Marysville (15%) and seven times as much as Lancaster (4.3%).

    If Dublin does get its way and build the massive tech corridor along 33 I could see the Marysville line beating out Delaware. Although, the line might be bit too far from 33 to be of much help.

    #338627

    michaelcoyote
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    Pablo wrote >>
    Cool map. It reminds me of the old interurbans of the early 20th century: http://www.columbusrailroads.com/images/1906_ohio_map.pdf

    Oh that’s a great map. I actually tried to find something like that, but had no luck. Excellent find, thanks for posting it.

    Pablo wrote >>
    Ultimately, a system like this would be most useful if it tied into a city transit system. That’s how Chicagos’s Metra and Toronto’s GO trains work – there are city transit system stations combined with or adjacent to commuter rail stations.

    Absolutely in agreement here. I would love to see this tie in with light rail, but I think at first tying into circulator and crosstown buses is going to be more likely.

    #338628
    Pablo
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    michaelcoyote wrote >>

    Pablo wrote >>
    Cool map. It reminds me of the old interurbans of the early 20th century: http://www.columbusrailroads.com/images/1906_ohio_map.pdf

    Oh that’s a great map. I actually tried to find something like that, but had no luck. Excellent find, thanks for posting it.
    Ultimately, a system like this would be most useful if it tied into a city transit system. That’s how Chicagos’s Metra and Toronto’s GO trains work – there are city transit system stations combined with or adjacent to commuter rail stations.
    Absolutly in agreement here. I would love to see this tie in with light rail, but I think at first tying into circulator and crosstown buses is going to be more likely.

    There’s a ton of info on columbusrailroads.com (photos & maps). The interurban train station was located at S. Third and between E. Town and E. Rich where the Marshall Fields once stood. Trains left the railroad and traveled on city streets like modern light-rail to reach the station.

    http://www.columbusrailroads.com/interurban%20terminal.htm

    #338629

    michaelcoyote
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    Pablo wrote >>
    There’s a ton of info on columbusrailroads.com (photos & maps). The interurban train station was located at S. Third and between E. Town and E. Rich where the Marshall Fields once stood. Trains left the railroad and traveled on city streets like modern light-rail to reach the station.

    http://www.columbusrailroads.com/interurban%20terminal.htm

    Yeah, I just looked through some of that.. They have a lot of good material up there. I’m loving the photos page. Lots of shots of not only rail, but Columbus history.

    #338630
    Pablo
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    @michaelcoyote: In fact, the system you’re proposing would more than likely be on or two rail cars, right? For a little more money you could provide at-grade rail links (over dedicated right-of-way or city street) to areas not directly on the rail line (like the airport)…

    #338631
    Central City Recording
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    It’s incredible that all these lines seem to already make sense, right? It’s almost like our city was developed on rail lines! What would really be great is if they all came together at some, like, Union station or something, that was also a hub for the local transit system. You know like we had in THE F*CKING 1920s!!!

    http://www.columbusrailroads.com/images/columbus-streetcars-1927.pdf

    PS – the frustration and sarcasm exhibited here is not even remotely targeted at the OP and is not intended to take away from the fun – nothing but love there. its just been awhile since i got to vent about the fact that at one time we had one of the BEST streetcar/interurban rail networks in the world and now we are the largest metro area in the US without mass transit. unless you count our highways. like our transit authority does. sigh.

    #338632

    michaelcoyote
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    Pablo wrote >>
    @michaelcoyote: In fact, the system you’re proposing would more than likely be on or two rail cars, right? For a little more money you could provide at-grade rail links (over dedicated right-of-way or city street) to areas not directly on the rail line (like the airport)…

    Actually I’m just looking for an initial line using existing rail. The idea being to start out as quickly and as cheaply as possible. I’d also like using METRA or CALTRAN type driving cars with a F40 to allow quick turnaround at the terminal station.

    On the other hand I wonder if we could get a couple of those old intraurban cars and convert them to DMUs and run like that? :-)

    ETA: actually, what you’re talking about could be similar to the MAX light rail in Portland. That has a great combination of features, since you can use it street level with no platform, or as a light rail car.

    #338633
    Pablo
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    OK, I get it – the rail cars would be too large/heavy for city streets.

    #338634

    michaelcoyote
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    Pablo wrote >>
    OK, I get it – the rail cars would be too large/heavy for city streets.

    Believe me, I love the idea of using those kinds of cars, but I want to see how easy and cheap we could make a line that would serve plenty of people.

    Also, does anyone have any thoughts to add on the lines as I’ve updated them here?

    #338635
    Pablo
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    Looks good! Too bad the rail bed linking Columbus to Mt. Vernon is gone – could have had stops in Sunbury, Westerville and NE suburban Columbus. It basically followed Route 3. The Westerville bikeway follows the rail bed.

    #338636

    dmerkow
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    Looks good, but I agree with Pablo – the biggest hole in this plan is the weak coverage of the NE, especially Westerville.

    #338637

    dmerkow
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    Looks good, but I agree with Pablo – the biggest hole in this plan is the weak coverage of the NE, especially Westerville.

    #338638

    michaelcoyote
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    dmerkow wrote >>
    Looks good, but I agree with Pablo – the biggest hole in this plan is the weak coverage of the NE, especially Westerville.

    I actually think that Westerville would be a good candidate for light rail, though a link all the way to Centerburg through Sunbury would be pretty awesome and support a lot of users.

    #338639

    tt342998
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    Its important to distinguish between light rail corridors and commuter rail corridors. Light rail would do well in servicing the Pickerington/Westerville/Hilliard/Polaris areas since they are 15-20 miles from the downtown area. True commuter rail has longer distances (30 – 50 miles), less frequency (6 – 10 trips per day), and less ridership (5 – 15 thousand).

    As for the question for getting a commuter line up and running as soon as possible – it would have to be the eastern (Newark) corridor. The other lines have greater amount of freight rail traffic or cost more to install sidings or a second mainline track. The Newark line has relatively low amount of freight rail traffic (4 – 8 trains per day vs 10+ on the other lines) and it can be easily expanded in much of the line between Newark and Columbus. More importantly is the fact that the state of Ohio owns a share in this line – the other lines are privately owned by various freight operators.

    #338640

    ehill27
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    Central City Recording wrote >>
    …You know like we had in THE F*CKING 1920s!!!

    http://www.columbusrailroads.com/images/columbus-streetcars-1927.pdf

    Pablo wrote >>
    Cool map. It reminds me of the old interurbans of the early 20th century: http://www.columbusrailroads.com/images/1906_ohio_map.pdf

    These maps are incredible!

    It’s really sad that we lost ALL of these lines. I can’t help but wonder what C-Bus (and Ohio) would be like if they didn’t abandon this part of our history. Something tells me the city would be much larger, much better known and without a trace of our current identity crisis.

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