By Leah Shaw, For The Miami Student
It’s 3 in the morning and Oxford residents are awoken by the horn of the Amtrak train making its way through town. Soon enough, students will be able to hop on board this train.
Within the next few years, Oxford plans to have its own Amtrak station for students and residents to take from Oxford to Chicago and beyond. The city of Oxford received approval last week from Amtrak to submit the proposal to build a stop here.
In November 2014, Oxford city officials met about creating an Amtrak in Oxford for students to use when traveling to other cities.
In December 2014, The Miami Student reported that Southwest Regional Director of All Aboard Ohio, an organization that promotes rail travel, had a two-part effort — getting an Oxford stop on the existing Cardinal line that goes through Oxford, and then having Amtrak expand its existing Hoosier State line to include Oxford and other Southwestern Ohio stops that would provide more service here with better times.
Many students and Oxford residents are eager for the project to be finished, like sophomore Carlin Piper.
“I wish we had this now,” Piper said. “I live in Philadelphia, so finding a ride home is really hard and flying is way too expensive. So this would give me a chance to get home easier.”
Alan Kyger, project manager of Oxford’s economic development, said it is going to be several years before the Amtrak stop is put in place.
Kyger said even though the possibility of the Amtrak is still several years away, it will be beneficial to both students and the residents of Oxford.
The Cardinal Amtrak currently goes west from New York through Oxford and ends in Chicago. However, it doesn’t make a stop in Oxford or anywhere.
“There are a lot of students here that are from Chicago or surrounding Chicago, and this could be very beneficial to them and for other students to not have to fly,” said Kyger.
The downside of the Amtrak is that it comes through Oxford now at around 2 or 3 a.m. each day, so if someone were to ride it, that’s likely the time they would have to get on it.
“The hours of pickup could be very inconvenient for students,” said Kyger, “but it is still faster than if a student were to take the buses and cheaper than taking a plane.”
A year after the initial discussion, the city of Oxford has gained a lot of support from the community for the train station. Now, it is just a matter of waiting for Amtrak to approve the proposal so concrete plans can be made.