Could Ohio replicate Florida’s high-speed rail system?


Toledo Blade

A little more than 35 years ago, Ohio voters shot down a Toledo legislator’s dream when they defeated a referendum for a penny increase in the state sales tax to pay for development of a high-speed rail program in the state.

Art Wilkowski, a liberal Democrat who represented Toledo in the Ohio House of Representatives for 14 years, believed fast trains could help wean Ohioans from dependence on cars and pricey foreign oil to fuel them.

Republican critics said such a project would cost too much and derisively nicknamed Mr. Wilkowski “Choo Choo” for his fervor. He retired from the legislature in 1983, the year after the sales-tax proposal failed.

Subsequent plans and proposals notwithstanding, Ohio today appears no closer to hosting anything more than the skeletal passenger-train service it had during the mid-1970s when Mr. Wilkowski, who died in 1999, took up that cause.

But train advocates…

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