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Ohio has ‘manufacturing spine’ to grow jobs with rebirth of rail travel

(The following story by Jim DeBrosse appeared on the Dayton Daily News website on July 13, 2010.)

DAYTON, Ohio — Ohio could create thousands of new manufacturing jobs if rail service can get the push it needs from the proposed 3C Corridor Passenger Rail Project and the federal Surface Transportation Act, according to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Ohio Secretary of Transportation Jolene Molitoris, who brought their pro-rail message Monday, July 12, to Dayton.

“We know how to build big ... things in Ohio and here in the Miami Valley,” Brown said at the Dayton-Phoenix Group plant in Old North Dayton, a maker of locomotive parts. “It’s time the United States began to breathe new life into the rail industry.”

A study released Monday by Policy Matters Ohio says Ohio still has “the manufacturing spine” in place to take advantage of the coming rebirth of the nation’s rail service. That includes the proposed $400 million 3C Corridor project from Cincinnati to Cleveland. The rail plan calls for stops both in downtown Dayton and Riverside.

Ohio has 226 firms involved in train car and locomotive manufacturing, including 26 in the Dayton region, that employ more than 26,000 Ohioans — placing Ohio among the top five rail industry states in America, the study found. During the next 30 years, the study projects the nation will need 25,000 new train cars.

But Ohio Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, said $400 million spent on any industry would benefit that industry but not necessarily taxpayers.

“We don’t have this money. We’re facing an $8 billion state budget hole and a $13 trillion dollar deficit,” Husted said.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

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