Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ORDC study: 26,000 Ohioans residents employed due to rail, with more to come

At least 225 contractors and suppliers employing more than 26,000 Ohio residents already benefit from investments made by the railroad industry, according to a new study by the Ohio Rail Development Coalition (ORDC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Many of those companies will be able to provide even more jobs as national investment in passenger and freight rail grows, the study says.

"This demonstrates that moving people and freight by rail means more to Ohio than just the trains rolling through town," said ORDC Chairman James Bradley, who is also a retired CEO from the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation. "I know a lot about the supply chain from my years as an executive in the steel industry in Ohio."

The study says that even companies located far away from Ohio's 3C "Quick Start" passenger rail line between Cincinnati and Cleveland will benefit – industrial leaders, construction contractors, companies that provide track infrastructure and equipment, and smaller businesses that provide goods or service to Amtrak.

Dennis Harwig, Business Development Director for Columbus-based EWI, believes there's significant growth potential in the passenger rail manufacturing market as well.

"The current urban rail market for passenger trains has averaged near $1.5 billion nationally for the last several years," he said. "Current projections indicate a $2-$3 billion market within the next 2 to 5 years, which grows to $4 to $5 billion as the national High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail and Amtrak Fleet Replacement programs mature, and more urban rail systems come on line."

Previous reading on BC:
Ohio rail groups propose $32 million for safer crossings (12/16/09)
State rail agencies studying development around six 'Quick Start' stations (12/7/09)
State rail group recommends DMUs for 3C 'Quick Start' (12/2/09)
State, county organizations support passenger rail (10/5/09)
Report: 3C 'Quick Start' could save Ohioans $36M per year, pay off in five years (9/29/09)