Kaptur, Regional Leaders Call for Improved Passenger Rail Service Between Northern Ohio, Chicago

August 5, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statement after meeting with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, All Aboard Ohio, the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, Amtrak, and the Federal Railroad Administration to encourage enhanced Amtrak connectivity in the Midwest.

With a trillion-dollar infrastructure package making its way through Congress – and more than $65 billion expected to be included for passenger rail – Amtrak recently unveiled a 15-year initiative to improve passenger rail corridors around the nation. The plan, known as Connect US, would add a new line between Toledo and Detroit – creating an indirect route between Cleveland and Chicago that would take more than seven hours to complete.

Rep. Kaptur and regional leaders convened a meeting with Amtrak representatives and federal rail policymakers to propose retooling the plan to make enhancements to the shorter, direct route between Toledo and Chicago – increasing frequency, shorting travel times, and attracting commuters.amtrak

“While Amtrak’s proposal would bring new benefits to northern Ohio – our region needs an innovative system that better links the Midwest’s great cities,” said Rep. Kaptur. “I appreciate Amtrak and Federal Railroad Administration leaders for partnering with us as we work to develop the 21st century transit infrastructure that will connect people and economies, and spur growth throughout the heartland.” 

“The Federal Railroad Administration continues to support State and local efforts to improve and expand passenger rail service along the Chicago/South Bend/Cleveland Amtrak corridor,” said Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose. “The work being done by the Lakeshore Rail Alliance, to prepare to compete for Federal funding, couldn’t be better timed as we hope to have a historic level of investment in passenger and freight rail thanks to Chairwoman Kaptur’s efforts and support.”

“I am pleased to have this opportunity to work with Congresswoman Kaptur on this important initiative to improve service on the Cleveland/South Bend/Chicago Amtrak corridor,” said Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency Executive Director and CEO Grace Gallucci. “I am hopeful from today’s discussion, with so many officials from the Great Lakes region, that we can work together to strengthen the future of passenger rail. I especially want to thank Congresswoman Kaptur for her continued focus on transportation investments throughout our Great Lakes region.”

Rep. Kaptur and regional leaders will continue working with Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration to pursue enhancements to the Cleveland-Toledo-Chicago route.

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For more information contact Chris Dalton at (202) 897-7438 or Chris.Dalton@mail.house.gov.