The Ohio Department of Transportation is considering rail-car options for the proposed Oasis commuter line.
The high speed railway would run between Milford and downtown Cincinnati and is part of the larger Eastern Corridor project.
ODOT's Andrew Fluegemann says a train's operating characteristics are important.
“A lot of people want them to be quiet but they also have to be efficient and have not a lot of vibration,” he says.
They also have to be able to move quickly between stations.
The goal is to have the Oasis Line operational in time for the 2015 MLB All Star Game in Cincinnati.
Three vendors are being considered. All offer DMU's, diesel multiple units, which don't require a separate engine car.
US Railcar is an Ohio-based company that would be able to use existing freight train tracks and has the ability to mix and match fleet vehicles.
Sumitomo makes their trains in Japan and they are (re)assembled in Illinois. They’re currently building trains for Chicago, Toronto and the Sonoma/Marin County region in California.
The final option is Swiss company, Stadler Rail Group. Their cars travel up to 150 miles per hour and have a focus on being environmentally friendly.
Train options range from $6-7 million per train set.
Transportation officials are considering visiting Portland and Denton County, Texas to see the rail lines in those communities.
There are still some bigger questions including:
- Who would own the rail line?
- Who would operate the rail line?
- How will the project be funded?