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Ohio Submits Application For Federal Rail Money

Ohio submitted its request for federal stimulus money for a passenger rail system Thursday. WOSU reports state leaders say chances are good Ohio will secure the funds.

The Ohio Department of Transportation and the state Rail Development Commission want $564 million for a passenger rail line connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.

But 40 other states also want in on the action. Combined their applications total $103 billion. President Barack Obama has allocated only $8 billion for rail development.

"We know we're in a tough fight," O-DOT director Jolene Moilitoris said.

Molitoris said Ohio's project will stand out from the rest because it is, in her words, "turn-key."

"We are proposing along with local decision makers where stations would be. We would be working with an operator, Amtrak or others. We are looking at equipment. So we're not just doing a piece of it we're saying this is the whole complete package," she said.

Critics, though, question the project's expense and worth. The rail system would operate mostly from public subsidies, and some say the money would be better spent improving Ohio's roadways.