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

Feedback on Renderings 1 Reply

I created these renderings in Photoshop based on views exported from Sketchup. I'd love to get feedback or ideas on how to make the graphics more compelling. Continue

Started by Katherine Jacobs in GRAPHICS. Last reply by J. Robert Wainner 34 minutes ago.

what can i call 'this'? 4 Replies

 Hi, I'm working at landscape design studio. When I search about seat wall or plaza bench, i've found like these images..but i don't know the name of this(mark) and what this is used for. Just for design or purposeful things?please let me know~   …Continue

Started by Jaeyoung Kim in DETAILS & MATERIALS. Last reply by Jaeyoung Kim 22 hours ago.

Trump as President? Meaning for Landscape Architects? 88 Replies

Trump promises a lot of deregulation, a lot of infrastructure building, jobs, economic growth, and, he's an experienced developer... so how do you think his presidency will impact our profession? Will we see more projects coming in? Less red tape?…Continue

Tags: Trump, politics, President

Started by ida in GENERAL DISCUSSION. Last reply by Craig Richmond, RLA yesterday.

What is the best way to improve design skills? 18 Replies

I have a passion for public green open space design but don't have much experience in this type of project. What would you recommend for someone like me to improve on this? Continue

Started by Benjamin Loh in GENERAL DISCUSSION. Last reply by Chunling Wu on Tuesday.

© 2017   Created by Matt Alcide.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service