When millions of dollars in federal money earmarked for Ohio inter-city rail fell apart last year, the dreams of train-loving commuters looked dead on the tracks. Now a new plan has emerged that could lead to rail service between Akron and Cleveland someday.
According to transportation planners and rail advocates, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad line — best known as a pleasant recreational outing and not a very good way to actually get anywhere — has the potential to be used for regular commuter service.
In fact, it’s already happening: A handful of passengers use the Scenic Railroad to go to school and work, according to Ken Prendergast of All Aboard Ohio, which pitched the idea to the Scenic Railroad and Akron Metro RTA this week. He calls it “the most heavily used passenger rail service in Ohio,” with 189,000 annual riders.