The Ohio Department of Transportation expects to open Ohio’s new 3C “Quick Start” passenger rail system in 2011. The proposed system would link Ohio’s three largest cities Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland with Amtrak rail services that haven’t been offered in thirty years. In addition to linking the state together, the new 3C system would tie into pre-existing national rails that link coast to coast.

While the thought of a three day train ride from Columbus to Seattle does sound appealing, the shorter trips throughout the state are going to make life easier for all of us here at Ohio State.  Riding home for break or for the holidays comes to mind immediately but that’s just where the benefits begin.

Anyone who has looked for an internship or that has recently graduated knows how hard it is to find a job right now. The ability to quickly and reliably go to any of the major cities in Ohio for career fairs or job interviews greatly enhances the opportunities available to all of us. Driving to an unfamiliar city, finding where you need to go and then finding parking, all while under the stress of an upcoming interview can be nerve racking. On the other hand, taking a train into the heart of town, relaxing and preparing on the ride, and picking up a cab from the station sounds like a more stress free and easy way to approach a potentially “make or break” interview.

Not to mention, there are some more “enjoyable” benefits to the new rail system as well. Imagine being able to easily get tickets for everyone in your organization to travel to an event anywhere in the state. The BBQ Club could travel to Rib Offs throughout Ohio, Greek fraternities and sororities could travel to chapters at other universities and professional groups could travel to conferences anywhere in the country.

And don’t forget how easy it would be to just go for the night to Cleveland to see your favorite band at Blossom, or Lebron and Shaq dominating the Pistons, with a few friends.