DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has made the decision to be one step closer to connecting three major Ohio cities to Dayton — through the railway system.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission has been told by the governor to apply for the first phase of funding to study how the rail system would impact the state. One of the corridor plans the state may pursue is connecting Dayton to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus by train.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor Identification and Development program would help Ohio look into the possibilities for the corridors the state is interested in pursuing. The program is both a development and planning that assists in helping guide development across the country of passenger trains.

Governor DeWine said no decision has been made yet and the research process is still in the early stages, the state is looking into bringing more transportation access to Ohioans while connecting multiple cities together by rail.

“This is the first step of many in this process. We have a lot of questions that need to be answered before we make any commitments,” DeWine said. “The information we gather from this effort will help us make informed decisions about federal opportunities for passenger rail in Ohio.”

DeWine announced another corridor plan will have to be researched as well to connect Cleveland, Detroit and Toledo.

Executive Director of the Ohio Rail Development Commission Matthew Dietrich said, “Under Governor DeWine’s direction, we have been talking with Amtrak for quite some time to explore options and gather information.”

“Our work with Amtrak was necessary for a federal application but it is just the first step. The Governor has been very clear that for this to work for Ohio, it is not just a matter of cost. It has to be done in a way that does not impede freight rail traffic in the state that is so important to our economy and our businesses,” Dietrich said.

** The video above shows Senator Sherrod Brown reacts to Ohio’s plan to move forward in looking into connecting Dayton to 3 other cities in Ohio **

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown released a statement following the announcement from the governor. Brown says in the statement he is in support of the efforts to look into the expansion of the Amtrak service for more Ohioans to have access.

“I applaud Governor DeWine and our regional leaders for starting the process to pursue Amtrak expansion. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law made billions of dollars available so states like Ohio can expand passenger rail service. I’m working with Secretary Buttigieg to make sure Ohio gets its fair share, or more – and I hope that the entire delegation will join me in supporting this effort,” Brown said.

Senator Brown said, “Expanding Amtrak in Ohio, whether along current routes or by connecting Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati, would transform our state’s economy and improve mobility for all Ohioans. I will continue to fight to make Ohio’s transit more reliable and efficient so more Ohioans can access employment and education opportunities across the state.”

The applications for the program are due by Monday, March 27.