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Hopefully, a focus on options for grade separation remains strong for the core.

Meanwhile former Nashville MTA CEO Paul Ballard appears to have donned hat feathers befitting a chieftain.   Just goes to show what timing, municipal priorities, and political will, can result in across state boundaries.

From Mass Transit Magazine...

  Stadler US Inc.

Stadler and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority Unveil the First U.S. FLIRT Train

Source: Stadler US Inc. Oct 10, 2017
20171009 162827 1  59dcab1e45a72

"We are excited to bring these sleek rail cars to Fort Worth and Dallas," said Paul Ballard, president/CEO of FWTA. "We have been viewing the many stages of manufacturing and completion and we could not be more pleased."

Photo credit: Leah Harnack/Mass Transit

Stadler and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA) introduced the first FLIRT (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) for the TEXRail commuter rail line at the American Public Transportation Association's EXPO. 

The contract for delivery of eight FLIRT trains was signed in June 2015.  The multiple unit trains, powered by diesel-electric propulsion, will soon be used for travel on the TEXRail line between Fort Worth and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Terminal B. 

This is the first time Stadler has sold one of its FLIRT trains in the United States. The first U.S. FLIRT train with its centrally located power module, meets the alternative vehicle technology requirements of the Federal Railroad Administration, as well as Buy America requirements. 

"We are excited to bring these sleek rail cars to Fort Worth and Dallas," said Paul Ballard, president/CEO of FWTA. "We have been viewing the many stages of manufacturing and completion and we could not be more pleased."

Stadler Group CEO and Owner Peter Spuhler said, "We are proud to be able to present our best seller for the first time in the USA today in association with the FWTA ..."

The wide front doors and spacious lower floor area make it easy for passengers to board and disembark. Each train comes equipped with 224 seats and side tables and USB ports, as well as an ADA toilet. 

The train's ergonomic driver's cabin features an intuitive design, providing onboard personnel with a modern, comfortable workplace. 

The new FLIRT trains are scheduled to become part of TEXRail's commercial fleet in December 2018.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Credit: Stadler.

Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler is to unveil its first FLIRT for the USA.

In collaboration with Texas-based Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA), Stadler will introduce the train at APTA Expo 2017.  More than 1,400 units of the train are in service worldwide but this is the first FLIRT sold in the USA.

Eight FLIRT trains were ordered by FWTA in June 2015 to operate on the TEXRail commuter rail line between Fort Worth and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s Terminal B.  A large amount of work on the trains was completed at the leased Stadler plant in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Each 266ft train has 224 seats, with side tables and USB ports and can travel at speeds of up to 130km/h.  The diesel-electric trains are equipped with two Deutz TCD 16.0 V8 520 kW diesel motors.  The new FLIRT trains are scheduled to become a part of TEXRail’s commercial fleet in December 2018.

Stadler Group CEO Peter Spuhler said: “We are proud to be able to present our best seller for the first time in the USA today in association with the FWTA, and are convinced that the FLIRT trains, which are built in the USA, will cut a fine figure in Big Sky Texas, and offer passengers in and around Fort Worth a new level of travel comfort.”

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Sounds a lot like Philadelphia's Subway-Surface lines. Through Center City to the City Hall Station and west to just past 30th Street Station, they run underground in a fashion similar to a subway, except with on board payment. Once they return to the street they run on standard street car lines, with some dedicated right of way on lines that serve suburban destinations like Media. All in all it's an effective system used by thousands each day.

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A north-south tunnel goes a long way to making the whole 5-corridor plan make sense. What I still don't get though is what the plan is for Midtown/West End, etc. That's a lot of transit-friendly density to leave out.

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My [email protected] with the East West route is that will be under Charlotte and connect at Music City Central. The East line will come across the JR bride and go under ground as soon as it gets on the East bank and makes a v line for the MCC. It will continue west down Charlotte and could come out of the ground somewhere close to NES as that land is i directly owned by Metro through NES. I do t see it going to the BC Mall.

I agree with the southern leg of the above diagram. That will eventually be another station, IMO.

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Didn't the city recently purchase some land on Lafayette that could be used for transit? Is that where you put the southern end of the proposed line, PHofKS?

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6 hours ago, AronG said:

A north-south tunnel goes a long way to making the whole 5-corridor plan make sense. What I still don't get though is what the plan is for Midtown/West End, etc. That's a lot of transit-friendly density to leave out.

I would bet if we start digging with 1 tunnel, a second east west tunnel would not even be out of the question. 

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47 minutes ago, Pdt2f said:

Didn't the city recently purchase some land on Lafayette that could be used for transit? Is that where you put the southern end of the proposed line, PHofKS?

Yes, an that is in a direct line to MCC on the corner of 5th and Lafayette. 

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9 hours ago, Pdt2f said:

Didn't the city recently purchase some land on Lafayette that could be used for transit? Is that where you put the southern end of the proposed line, PHofKS?

There was also a parcel for sale (1.48 acres) at 804 4th Ave S that looks to be at the exact intersection of the Murfreesboro/Nolensville lines. It would be nice if Metro bought this one before a developer does. It would give them lots more transit options on the southern end of the tunnel.  It's also at the end of the Division St connector so it could be a connection point for a street car going up and down Division as well.

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4 hours ago, nashwatcher said:

There was also a parcel for sale (1.48 acres) at 804 4th Ave S that looks to be at the exact intersection of the Murfreesboro/Nolensville lines. It would be nice if Metro bought this one before a developer does. It would give them lots more transit options on the southern end of the tunnel.  It's also at the end of the Division St connector so it could be a connection point for a street car going up and down Division as well.

Wasn't this some sort of land-swap deal with Greyhound related to the Division Street bridge?

Edited by Rockatansky
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From the TENNESSEAN...

Mayor Barry unveils sweeping $5.2 billion transit proposal for Nashville with light rail, massive tunnel

Quote

Calling it a necessary "investment in Nashville's future, Mayor Megan Barry on Tuesday unveiled a monumental proposal for a $5.2 billion mass transit system, the most expensive and complicated project in Metro history.

Barry wants Nashvillians to go to the polls in May to approve via referendum raising four taxes to pay for the massive undertaking — a combination of light rail, expanded bus service and a massive tunnel below downtown that would serve as a central connecting point for the city’s new transit lines.

Leading the way as a revenue generator would be a one-half percent hike to the sales tax that would jump to 1 percent in 2023. She’s also proposed increases to the city’s hotel-motel tax, rental car tax and business and excise tax. 

....

A 1.8-mile downtown, three stop tunnel — first reported by The Tennessean last week — would stretch underground from Music City Central, the city’s bus hub, north-south under Fifth Avenue South to Lafayette Street, where an additional hub would be built.

Per Mayor Barry's speech in the video, a light rail line was added to connect the Charlotte line to North Nashville over the existing Cheatham County railroad line. 

She also spoke about the entitled, "Nashville Underground" will be. The tunnel will run from 5th Ave at Charlotte, south to SoBro....a new station at 5th and Broad across from the Bridgestone Arena... 

Edited by PHofKS

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Can I ask a horribly stupid question?   I’m very ignorant on this other than I spend about 2 hours a day traveling from the 840 area to downtown Nashville.  

Clearly this new proposal will do nothing for me or commuters coming in from the outer burbs.  Who really benefits from this 5 billion?  Are there enough people along this route to use it this much?   Resident/work?  

My assumption that anything that helps my commute would have to be by the state and municipalities along the way?

 

edit:  2 hours round trip 

Edited by TheRaglander
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If the line is to run down 5th Avenue, could be a cut and cover project with a short tunnel under Broadway? You would have to shut down 5th for a year, but it might be cheaper. It would still be a tunnel.

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Transit for the outer burbs is much tougher to design, much more expensive, and the low density makes it much harder to collect enough passengers. Also the ring counties are also currently not interested in paying for much. This proposal for Davidson county would raise $110 million/year, rising to $200 million/year by 2023. 

5 minutes ago, PHofKS said:

If the line is to run down 5th Avenue, could be a cut and cover project with a short tunnel under Broadway? You would have to shut down 5th for a year, but it might be cheaper. It would still be a tunnel.

I wish they could do this; I'm sure it would be significantly cheaper and faster. Would probably cause a category 5 commuter backlash tho and everyone would get voted out of office.

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It still kind of irks me that light rail in this case is being treated more as a commuter line to shuttle people in and out of the city rather than as a way for people who actually live within the urban areas of the city to get from one part of the city to the other.  It makes very little sense to me that light rail isn't coming anywhere near some of the densest parts of the city, like Hillsboro/Belmont, Vanderbilt, 12 South, and Germantown, where there would actually be pedestrians who wanted to hop on and off, and yet, we have light rail going down the primarily suburban sprawl lined Murfreesboro Rd and Nolensville Rd where pedestrians are almost non-existent.  All that being said, however, I am thrilled to see this plan begin to take shape and am excited for the possibilities.  

Edited by BnaBreaker
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^ ^ ^ The roads aren't wide enough in those areas for light rail.  The only other solution would be to run lines down alleys---and perhaps some ideas like that will be in long range plans.

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