Oxford commits to funds, support for Amtrak stop

OXFORD, Ohio -- The city of Oxford may spend as much as $350,000 to support a stop on an Amtrak line running from New York to Chicago, the Journal-News reports.

The Cardinal Line cuts through the southwest corner of Ohio, with the nearest boarding stops at Union Terminal in Cincinnati and Connersville, Indiana. It passes through Oxford during the early morning hours of Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays bound for Chicago, and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays bound for New York.

The idea of an Oxford stop has been around for two years, and Oxford City Council's commitment to financially support the project is considered a major step. It would be the first passenger rail stop to serve Oxford in roughly half a century, according to Derek Bauman, Southwest Regional Director of rail advocacy group All Aboard Ohio.

Amtrak's Cardinal Line runs across the Midwest from New York to Chicago

Rail advocates in the region are hopeful the Oxford project will help propel forward plans to bring daily rail service between Cincinnati and Chicago. In addition to Miami University, Purdue University in West Lafayette also sits along the Cardinal Line, not to mention all the metro universities in Chicago, Indianapolis, and here in Cincinnati.

A seven-member Joint Miami-Oxford Amtrak Committee found it would cost between $1 million and $1.3 million to build the kind of stop Amtrak might use in Oxford: a 300-foot train platform, an open-air canopy or shelter and access sidewalks.

Oxford City Council members all expressed support for the stop and indicated they'd be willing to put up money for it.

The best possible site, committee members found, was south of Chestnut Street adjacent to Talawanda Local Schools’ Nelson-Morrow Building. The former Talawanda High School site nearby could provide restrooms and parking for passengers.

The Oxford stop also might be used for access to the Hoosier State Line, linking Indianapolis and Chicago; operators are looking to expand their service to Cincinnati, which could then include Oxford.

Read more about the plans at the Journal-News, a WCPO media partner.

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WCPO.com/WCPO Insider Transportation & Development Reporter Pat LaFleur contributed to this report.

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