Posts Tagged ‘Oxford Ohio’

Funding Set for New Oxford Amtrak Station

March 13, 2021

Funding commitments are falling into place for construction of an Amtrak station in Oxford, Ohio.

The city of Oxford along with Miami University have agreed to spend $700,000 for the station, which will serve the Chicago-New York Cardinal.

The city and university funding will pay for a platform and an unmanned kiosk.

Negotiations are underway with vendors for design and cost estimates.

Located 40 miles north-northwest of Cincinnati, Oxford would become the second Ohio stop for the Cardinal and Amtrak’s eighth station in Ohio.

Nos. 50 and 51 stopped in Hamilton, Ohio, between August 1980 and October 2005.

The Oxford station will be located at 909 South Main St. The Cardinal will stop in Oxford westbound on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and eastbound on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Oxford, Miami U Pledge Money for Amtrak Stop

January 5, 2017

Trains magazine reported this week that the City of Oxford, Ohio, and Miami University have agreed to contribute $350,000 toward the cause of establishing an Amtrak station in the southwestern Ohio city.

Amtrak 4The station will be a platform and shelter to serve the tri-weekly Chicago-New York Cardinal.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told the magazine that Amtrak favors establishing a stop for the Cardinal in Oxford and will work with the community and CSX to bring it to fruition.

Currently, the only Ohio stop for the Cardinal is in Cincinnati, 40 miles away.

Nos. 50 and 51 once served Hamilton, Ohio, but that service ended in 2005.

No timeline has been set for when construction of the station will begin or when service will be inaugurated.

Oxford Indicates it May Fund Amtrak Station

December 29, 2016

News media reports out of southwest Ohio indicate that the City of Oxford is prepared to spend up to $350,000 to establish a stop for Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal.

Amtrak 4The seven-member Joint Miami University-Oxford Amtrak Committee estimates that establishing the stop would cost between $1 million and $1.3 million.

That would include a 300-foot platform, an open-air canopy or shelter, and sidewalks.

Members of the Oxford City Council have spoken in favor of the station and signaled they are willing to consider helping to fund it.

The study committee has suggesting establishing the station south of Chestnut Street adjacent to Talawanda Local Schools’ Nelson-Morrow Building.

Parking and restrooms could be provided in the former Talawanda High School site.

No time frame has been announced on when the city might approve funding for the station.

Oxford City Council Members Meet With Amtrak to Discuss Instituting Station for the Cardinal

December 22, 2016

Oxford city council members met with Amtrak officials this week as part of a continuing campaign to get the passenger carrier to establish a stop in the southwestern Ohio city for the Chicago-New York Cardinal.

amtrak-cardinalProponents of the stop have proposed establishing a station near West Chestnut and South Main streets and are seeking at least $350,000 from the city and Miami University.

The movement to establish the station dates to 2009. That effort fell flat when Amtrak said there was enough demand to warrant the cost of a station.

The Cardinal has passed through Oxford since April 27, 1986, but has never stopped there. The Cardinal once served nearby Hamilton, Ohio, but that stop has since been discontinued.

The nearest station to Oxford served by the Cardinal is Cincinnati.

Efforts to get Amtrak to serve Oxford were renewed in 2015 with proponents pointing to an increase in the city’s population since the previous study.

This time Amtrak encouraged local officials to identify a potential station site. The former Baltimore & Ohio station in Oxford on Elm Street had been razed in 1994.

Amtrak has told Oxford that the carrier will not provide funding for acquiring, building or maintaining of a station.

In naming the West Chestnut and South Main site, Oxford officials have proposed creating a regional transportation hub that would also serve as a bus stop.

The Butler County Regional Transit and Miami University unsuccessfully sought a TIGER earlier this year.

Their current plan is to seek to secure the site and then find funding to pay for the station.

2 Ohio Intermodal Station Projects Seek Other Funding after Failing to Land a TIGER Grant

August 11, 2016

Intermodal station projects in Cleveland and Oxford, Ohio, failed to win a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant this year, but will continue to move forward while seeking other funding sources.

In Cleveland, transportation officials have been studying the creation of the Lakefront Multimodal Transportation Center that will serve Amtrak, intercity buses and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority buses and trains.

Amtrak 4The center, to be located west of East Ninth Street, unsuccessfully sought a $37.4 million TIGER grant.

The total project cost is $46.7 million of which Amtrak is expected to pay $4 million.

The intermodal complex would be part of a planned Mall-to-Harbor walkway that is being built by the City of Cleveland. That project will get underway this fall.

The walkway will have stairs and an elevator linking it to the Amtrak station.

Improvements to the Amtrak station include bringing it into ADA compliance, platform resurfacing/widening, and parking lot and walkway improvements.

Planners are eyeing how to obtain funding for preliminary engineering and construction of the Greyhound portion of the transportation center.

In Oxford, the city, Miami University and the Butler County Regional Transit Authority have proposed developing an intermodal facility that would serve as a stop for Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal.

Officials unsuccessfully sought $20 million in TIGER funds for the $26 million bus-rail intermodal station.

The Amtrak station platform, shelter and parking will cost about $600,000. The Cardinal currently does not stop in Oxford, but Amtrak has indicated it would be willing to serve Oxford if it provides suitable station facilities.

2 Sites Eyed for Oxford Amtrak Station

December 9, 2015

Amtrak is eying two locations in Oxford for a station to serve the Chicago-New York Cardinal.

The sites include former BP Oil property at 719 S. Main St. and the area south of Chestnut Street adjacent to the city garage.

Railroad officials have indicated they favor the Chestnut Street site because the BP property does not have room for a 400-foot station platform.

“We are looking at a Category 4 station, just a platform with a canopy,” said City Manager Doug Elliot. “They gave us information on which site they prefer. We need to get approval, not only from Amtrak, but also CSX. Next, we have to talk about who owns the site.”

The Chestnut Street location not only would allow for a 400-foot platform but also has the advantage of having adjacent land that is publicly owned.

City officials said a category 4 station would be “a minimalist stop” and “basically a bus stop.”

Oxford Amtrak Committee member Alan Kyger said the platform design would need approval of CSX, which owns the tracks used by the Cardinal through Oxford, a southwestern Ohio city that is the home of Miami University.

CSX also owns the property on which the platform would be constructed, but the shelter at the site would be off railroad property.

“CSX owns the track and they are all about freight trains. Amtrak can interfere with freight travel,” Kyger said. “From what we hear, that can take a long time. CSX oversees all work on this project. It adds a layer of cost. It adds a layer of time.”

Kyger said having government entities owning much of the space to be used for the station helps the process.

“We’re at a point where we need to figure out where to put this and how much it will cost and who will pay for this,” Kyger said, adding that estimates may range from $500,000 to more than $1 million.

“Everybody agrees it’s a great thing but who’s going to pay for it?” he said.

Kyger said Amtrak and city officials are open to other possible locations for an Oxford station.

“It’s not moving as fast as I would like,” he said. “No doubt, everyone would like to see it moving faster than it is. The good news is that Amtrak is on board.”

Amtrak rejected making Oxford a stop for the tri-weekly Cardinal in 2009 but has been receptive to recent efforts to revive the idea.

Miami University has been supportive of the campaign to establish an Amtrak station in Oxford, which despite having been on the Cardinal route for several years has not had intercity rail passenger service since the early 1950s.

If the Oxford stop is established, the Cardinal, would serve the city in the dead of night. It would be the second stop on the route between Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

Cincinnati Interests View FRA Midwest Rail Study as Step Toward Daily Amtrak Service to Chicago

August 18, 2015

Cincinnati area rail advocates are hailing a pending Federal Railroad Administration study as a potential step toward daily Amtrak service to Chicago.

The FRA recently said it would conduct a $3 million study of rail passenger service in the Midwest and Southeast.

The study will cover Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and 10 others states.

At present, the only Amtrak service in southwestern Ohio is the tri-weekly Chicago-New York Cardinal.

No. 50 to New York passes through Cincinnati on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. No. 51 to Chicago serves the Queen City on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

In both instances, the trains are scheduled to arrive at Cincinnati Union Terminal between midnight and 4 a.m.

Derek Bauman is the southwest regional director for All Aboard Ohio, a statewide rail passenger advocacy group. He and other Cincinnati area residents have spent the past 15 lobbying for daily rail service to Chicago.

“It’s great news that the Midwest is being afforded these planning dollars,” he said.

Passenger advocates would like to see Cincinnati-Chicago service developed further, including making infrastructure improvements to reduce the current 7-hour running time.

“We haven’t seen anything like this come down the pike in some time — if ever,” Bauman said. “Being a part of this larger effort gives us here locally a great resource to lean on.”

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, a long-time advocate for bringing rail transit to the region, also views the the FRA’s plan a “real positive shot in the arm.”

“This funding makes the vision real,” Portune told WCPO-TV. “It tells us there is not only verbal support, but there is now financial support for doing the preliminary environmental work that’s needed for high-speed rail service between Cincinnati and Chicago.”

Portune also said that the pending planning process “communicates to the region, ‘Now is the time to get your act together.'”

Beyond a daily connection to Chicago, Portune said daily rail service out of the city center of Cincinnati could lead to other local transit options connecting Downtown to Hamilton’s County’s west side communities.

Bauman said All Aboard Ohio is seeking to development partnerships with local chambers of commerce, educational institutions, and other organizations soon to draft model plans to supplement the FRA’s study on a local level.

“It’s important for us as a region to stay in tune with what’s going on,” he said.

Rail passenger proponents are also working the city of Oxford and Miami University in a campaign to establish a stop of the Cardinal in Oxford, Ohio.

Petition Drive Seeks Oxford Amtrak Stop

June 27, 2015

An Oxford resident has collected more than 1,000 signatures in support establishing an Amtrak station in that southwest Ohio community.

Many of those who signed Deb Clark’s petitions also said they would be willing to provide funds or materials to make the station happen, she said.

The city of Oxford is supporting the bid to create a station to serve Amtrak’s tri-weekly Chicago-New York Cardinal, but G. Alan Kyger, Oxford’s development director, said a search committee has not decided on a site.

He did say that the committee is looking at locations on public land, although a privately-owned site would not be ruled out.

The committee has examined five or six potential sites, including between High Street and the former Talawanda High School site on Locust Street.

City officials have declined to divulge the specific locations because they have not spoken with the property owners.

“The eventual decision-makers are going to be city council and Miami University,” Kyger said. “We’re trying to work together on this project.”

Kyger said the search committee intends to make a location recommendation by the end of the summer, Kyger said.

Amtrak gave Oxford and Miami the go-ahead to select a site earlier this year.

The railroad has expressed a willing to serve Oxford, but the city and the university would have to find the site and to pay for it.

The station is expected to be a shelter station with overhead canopies but no amenities such as restrooms.

Oxford Continues Push to Become Amtrak Stop

June 2, 2015

Potential ridership in Oxford, Ohio, is strong enough to merit establishing a station there to serve Amtrak’s Cardinal, city officials say.

The city of Oxford and Miami University will continue to lobby Amtrak to stop the Chicago-New York train in this city located 25 miles northwest of Cincinnati, the nearest station.

Miami University, which has more than 1,400 students from Illinois alone, has been working with the city to pursue the stop for Amtrak’s tri-weekly Cardinal.

Alan Kyger, the city’s economic development director, said the costs for the station would be covered by the city, so it is expected to be little more than a station with overhead canopies.

City officials have not yet projected how much the shelter will cost. “The eventual decision-makers are going to be city council and Miami University,” Kyger said.

Amtrak has asked for information showing the proposed station site, including property ownership information, whether there will be other uses of the facility and what funding has been obtained.

A committee is expected to have recommendations on the station by the end of summer.

Ohio Town Makes Bid to be Cardinal Station Stop

December 7, 2014

Oxford, Ohio, is making a push to become a station stop for Amtrak’s Cardinal.

Located on a former Baltimore & Ohio line between Cincinnati and Indianapolis, it has been more 60 years since the Butler County college town had passenger rail service.

Oxford and Miami University officials plan to send a joint letter to Amtrak officials asking for the city to be made a scheduled stop for the tri-weekly Chicago-New York Cardinal.

“We have a lot of Miami University students who come from and through Chicago,” Oxford City Manager Douglas Elliott said.

Passenger rail service in Oxford ended in December 1950. Oxford’s long-abandoned B&O station was razed in 1994.

The last passenger trains to stop in Oxford were motor cars operating between Indianapolis and Hamilton, Ohio.

A request to stop the Cardinal in Oxford was rejected by Amtrak in 2009, but city and university officials – along with regional rail advocates – said recent communications show Amtrak now to be more interested in accommodating millennial-aged passengers, of which Miami has about 16,000.

“The conditions have changed with Amtrak and this time we’re more optimistic,” said Elliott.

A rail stop now makes sense argued officials.

Miami students make up the largest portion of Oxford’s 22,000 population, of which 44 percent are between the ages of 20 and 24. University restrictions on vehicles and campus parking make driving scarce and costly.

A growing percentage of Miami’s students are from out-of-state. The school also has attracted many students from the Chicago area, said Miami officials.

“The greater Chicagoland area is home to the largest out-of-state concentration of alumni, and provides us with large numbers of students each year,” said Ray Mock, executive director of the Miami University Alumni Association.

School officials also cite a growing Asian student population, many of whom enter America by flying into Chicago.

“I think an Amtrak route between Oxford and Chicago would be a welcome asset,” said Mock.

Oxford would need a station, which officials said will be similar to a bus shelter, said Derek Bauman, southwest regional director for All Aboard Ohio, a pro-rail group that also backed downtown Cincinnati’s recent streetcar project.