I can hear the trains from my bedroom window. Nashville has an incredibly long and rich history of railroading, but it has been decades since passenger rail service was offered. I can see the newly restored Union Station from my balcony, it has been restored to its former glory, but its former function remains lost. There is a high-end hotel, offices, and a couple of really cool restaurants, but no train station. This is probably the same station where Olmsted stepped off the train on one of his many trips through the south.


Union Station


All of the rails are currently owned by freight companies. (Mainly CSX) When you compare the CSX service map to the Amtrak service map the reason for the lack of passenger service is obvious.



I discovered this a few months ago whenever I thought it might be cool to take a train home to Meridian, MS to visit family. Meridian has always had passenger rail, and I have fond memories of seeing my Mom off and then going and picking her up again at the depot whenever she would visit my Aunt in New Orleans every summer.

I'm really interested in what can be done to remedy this situation. I have made a few contacts, sent a couple of emails, but so far I have only been able to find one reported case in recent history of a freight track being converted to a shared track. It was a $49 million, 120 mile upgrade on existing tracks between Chicago and St. Louis, it was a partnership between Union Pacific and Amtrak that was brokered by the Illinois DOT. This was a rail that saw light to moderate freight traffic. Most of the lines through Nashville see heavy traffic. So the outlook for seeing passenger rail service return to middle Tennessee anytime in the immediate future is not good. That's not going to stop me from writing letters to as many public officials and CSX executives as I can get addresses for though.

Oddly enough, there is talk of a mag-lev system from Atlanta to Nashville through Chattanooga. Bizarre, it does seem like getting the cart before the horse. I'd like to see an incremental approach. Why not improve track conditions and controls so that we can restore passenger rail service from Atlanta to Chicago through Nashville, and then south to Birmingham, AL and west to Memphis? Then once the whole region is connected continue to incrementally improve the trains and the rails until we can run trains at 110+ MPH, there are lots of fast trains out there that can run on conventional tracks at a fraction of the cost of mag-lev.

I'll keep thinking on this as I fall asleep to the sound of trains with no one onboard but an engineer.

Views: 10

Comment

You need to be a member of Land8 to add comments!

Join Land8

New Jobs!

Members

Forum

Specifying LEED stone

I'm working on a leed platinum project and I am getting the run around from stone suppliers. Has anyone found a comprehensive list/map of US/Canadian stone quarries by location?The project is in Cincinnati Ohio and has about 3000 sf of stone paving,…Continue

Tags: sandstone, granite, limestone, SRI, stone

Started by Daniel Wood in SUSTAINABILITY & DESIGN yesterday.

ASLA 2016 Annual Meeting/Expo NOLA 10.21-10.24 4 Replies

Upon receiving a grant from Lonovo to attend the National Meeting, I am now inquiring if there will be any members on here that will also be attending?If so, where are you planning on staying?  I have purchased my travel fare, but have yet to…Continue

Started by michael damico in GENERAL DISCUSSION. Last reply by Ben Baker on Monday.

What do you wish you'd asked when choosing an LA school? 4 Replies

I'm hoping to enter a landscape architecture program next year. I'm coming to LA with a background in biology and an MPH in environmental health. I'm interested in working at the neighborhood-city scale, focusing on ecological restoration and urban…Continue

Tags: training, program, school, education

Started by Gaelle Gourmelon in EDUCATION. Last reply by Gaelle Gourmelon on Monday.

How do you start building a professional portfolio? 2 Replies

I am a new grad from L.A program of my university, and while I am looking for a job with my portfolio encompassed with academic projects, I started to wonder how to build a professional portfolio from professional work?  What I mean is in the…Continue

Tags: professional, emerging, portfolio

Started by Yali Zhang in PORTFOLIO & RESUME. Last reply by Yali Zhang on Saturday.

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2016   Created by Andrew Spiering.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service