USA: Stark Area Regional Transit Authority has awarded consultancy WSP USA a contract to undertake studies for a light rail service connecting the centre of Canton, Ohio, with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and potentially with Belden Village and Akron-Canton Airport.

Any future service would use part of the 40 km B&O Valley Line between Canton and Akron which Akron’s Metro Regional Transit Authority acquired from CSX in May 2000 for possible commuter rail use, with new track extending the route into central Canton.

The study will explore whether hydrogen traction could be feasible, as SARTA already operates fuel cell powered buses. Subject to the outcome of the $100 000, six-month study, it is envisaged that construction could take two years, with federal grants covering 80% of the estimated cost of up to $50m.