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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread


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The quick answer to your question is No. Light Rail can not share tracks with freight traffic for safety reasons. I saw they had mentioned light rail in the resolution and I assumed that was simply a mistake on the part of the author. Given the description they most likely mean commuter rail.

That's what I was thinking too. Ashland City is way too far out for any type of Light Rail system. At least right now. If Light Rail was done in Nashville, it would start in the core and wind its way out from there. Not some "cowboy" line to no mans land (better known as North Nashville-Davidson County).

Edited by Lexy
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An interesting note about ridership. The City Paper today noted (in a brief blurb about Kroger selling MCS tickets) that "an average of 500 people commute to work on the Music City Star each weekday." That sounds pretty good to me. What were the ridership projections when they were putting the system together?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rode the rails again today. Picked up the afternoon train that runs to Mt. Juliet and heads back 15 minutes later. The train is always on time. It's always entertaining on board! One of the conductors "Trey" is a hoot. It's such a relaxed atmosphere. Lots of friendly passengers cutting up and having a good time. Riding back West into town, watching the sunset is absolutely breathtaking. Sure beats driving. I've talked to several people that are interested in riding it but never actually buy a ticket and get on board. If that person is you, the time is now. We need more support if we're going to secure a line to Rutherford, Williamson, and Sumner. Even Clarksville may be in need of some passenger rail.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

The accident happened near the Donalson station. The cars on the road were backed up and a dummy was waiting in traffic on the tracks. The crossing bars came down trapping the car and the star smashed the front end.

Report were that both driver and passenger were sent to the hospital but not life threatening from what the news said.

The car mainly had a busted fender and hood, doesn't look like the train ramed it too hard.

Hopefully this will teach others not to plant their butts on the tracks while stuck in traffic, especially if you know a train runs through there durring rush hour.

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  • 4 weeks later...

haha a picture from a Tennessean photographer with the caption saying the person is reading the Nashville Scene...I just find that humorous...

and I'm glad to see it getting a little bit of publicity, always good...

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haha a picture from a Tennessean photographer with the caption saying the person is reading the Nashville Scene...I just find that humorous...

Indeed....and the caption says the gentleman is waiting for the train--looks to me like he is already sitting in his seat on the train!

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Indeed....and the caption says the gentleman is waiting for the train--looks to me like he is already sitting in his seat on the train!

hmm... some things are just not as clear cut as the bush "clear skies act" is to clear cutting forests. ;)

but one thing IS clear cut... riding on the train, while waiting for the train to arrive, while reading the nashville scene, while getting a picture taken by the tennessean, to be published in usa today is the IN THING BABY!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Also not about Music City Star, but an article in The Tennessean about Amtrak service in Nashville.

Fans of rail want Amtrak here

I'm not going to argue that there wouldn't be enough passengers, but I wish there were. In NC, my apartment is right across the street from a rail line that Amtrak runs on and it really surprises me how many college students choose to use Amtrak to go from Raleigh to home...mainly those going from Raleigh to Charlotte.

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When I was in school at UT, I often thought of how nice it would be to be able to hop on a train and go home for the weekend instead of having to drive or find a ride. I would like to see high speed rail between major cities, i.e. Memphis-Nashville-Knoxville-Chattanooga, Atlanta, B-ham, etc. with few or no stops in between. This would help rail compete better with air travel, assuming they could keep the ticket costs the same or lower.. I realize, of course, that this will not happen any time soon, if ever.

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I question why Nashville hasn't had an Amtrak station when the region is at the convergence of several major rail routes. Its interesting that Amtrak runs a train through West Tennessee with its station in Memphis but not Nashville. Both markets are obviously large enough for service.

Edited by heckles
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The reason WTN has Amtrak service is only because of geography and rail line location. There is a New Orleans to Chicago line that is still successful enough to stay in operation, thus West Tennessee gets Amtrak service in Memphis, Newbern, and in far NWTN South Fulton via Fulton, KY's stop. The lack of Amtrak service has nothing to do with Nashville, rather has all to do with geography and the limited resources of Amtrak to operate but a handful of lines.

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  • 2 weeks later...

*I posted this here b/c I didn't really want to start a whole topic for this and it seems to me to fit in with a transit discussion. Sorry if it is completely off topic.*

I hope that, as Nashville continues to build bike lanes and trails, it will consider implementing something like what Paris and other European cities are doing with bike rentals for both tourists and citizens alike. It may sound unrealistic but I don't think some form of what they have in European cities is completely unrealistic for Nashville sometime in the near future.

Since July 15, more than 10,600 bikes have been posted all over town at 750 stations, and the numbers of both will nearly double by the year's end. The great news for tourists is that City Hall has made sure the service is convenient for tourists, not just Parisians, by offering short-term passes and access in eight languages.

Velib', as the service is called, is a word made up by blending together "velo" (bike) and "liberte" (liberty). The idea is flexibility: You grab a bike from any station around town - they pop up every 330 yards or so - and park it at any other station. That means you don't have to haul the bike back to your hotel if your feet hurt or it starts raining.

Today, there are 230 miles of bike lanes in Paris, and Paris City Hall says the amount of bike traffic has increased nearly 50 percent since 2001. Paris isn't a paradise for bikers yet - there's still a lot of car traffic and confusing one-way streets - but a ride is no longer the obstacle course it once was.

By launching the bike program, Paris is following in the footsteps of European cities including Stockholm, Vienna, Barcelona, Brussels and Copenhagen. The German railway system has a bicycle rental program, where you unlock rental bikes at rail stations using your cell phone. A service in Lyon, France, has also been a hit, inspiring Paris to try it too. In Lyon, every bike is used seven to 15 times a day, and the average number of rides a day is upward of 15,000.

Another cool thing that Paris does that probably would only happen in Nashville in a dream:

Every Sunday the quays of the Seine from the Bastille to the Eiffel Tower are open to walkers, inline-skaters and bikers, and closed to cars. On Friday nights at 10 p.m., a parade of bikes departs from Avenue Victoria for a ride around the city.
Edited by southsideJ
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  • 1 month later...

so, nothing new to report, i just kinda wanted to bump this thread to see if anyone else might have any new info or thoughts on Nashville's rail present or future. It's been almost a year of service for the MCS. what do you guys think? It seems to have operated mostly problem free. however, i believe that their rideship numbers are below expected. Do you think this is a slow growth or slow death? I am hoping for the former, but that's just me.

Any hope for a future southeast corridor? I know it is in the planning stages here. it also seems that it could be indefinately stalled due to public opinion. I have high hopes for this corridor as a major transit route for Nashvillians, including connections to MTSU and the airport. however i know this is a pipe-dream.

just trying to spur a conversation......thoughts?

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I wonder how successful the Star would have been were the first leg to have run the Southeast Corridor...

The benefits of mass transit are clear, I believe. But, I fear most Americans have adopted a typically ambivalent, sometimes antagonistic, view of public transportation--much like our view of Western art. For example, the average American feels no relationship to classical music and makes no effort to expose themselves to such 'foreign' art based on common misconceptions and mythical (yet actualized) cultural disconnections. In other words, we may be resistant to difference (i.e. giving up automobile independency to sit next to our neighbors on a railcar as we head in the same direction to and from work each day). Actually, it may be that we are simply resistant to learning (i.e. allowing ourselves to conceive, develop, realize and enact different methods of improving our way of life as a metropolitan community rather than as individuals milling about in a populous desert).

I would like to apply Gov. Bredesen's statements regarding the [much-awaited] smoking ban to this subject and assert that the Southeast Corridor should develop some "high performance transit alternatives", if only because the government has a responsibility to care for its environment and its citizens.

Edited by vinemp
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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree with Mr. Bredeson. America needs to get off of it's addiction of driving cars to get to everything. We arent going to solve our traffic problems by constantly widening roads. I just moved back to Nashville from Metro Atlanta and Atlanta's traffic has gotten really out of hand (gridlocks everywhere)... and their interstates have eight lanes on each side in parts! While Nashville hasn't gotten this bad, I do see Nashville as going "down the same road" as Atlanta when it comes to commuting patterns. I would LOVE to see a real mass transit system linking all parts of Metro Nashville built before traffic gets really out of hand here (as it has in ATL). Couldnt you see all of the rails joining up at beautiful Union Station? That would finally do it justice insted of serving as a lame hotel that, frankly, I dont ever see many people use. What do you think? I didnt even know that MCS was getting a second line yet or that all of these others were planned. Wow! That's really good news!

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I've heard it's a really, REALLY nice hotel but lets face it, Nashville would get more use out of it as a rail hub.

I seriously doubt it. That station was built to service passenger trains running on traditional lines - not light rail. You would have to re-purchase the building -which would cost a fortune since the hotel is surely profitable-, spend millions to engineer the site into any proposed light rail system -taking into account railways and their right-of-ways next to the station, existing roads and their right-of-ways, existing structures, etc-, then spend millions just build the infrastructure to make the station capable of being utilized -if that's even reasonably possible.

Sounds like a money pit if there ever was one.

If metro Nashville ever started a light rail project they would most likely build a new modern facility to service it for the simple fact that Union Station's design, location, and current use make it an unacceptable option.

I have to agree with nashvillewill such an ambitious project sounds great, but is highly implausible at this point in time. A pilot project for a light rail line or expansion of regional rail service might be plausible at some point, but even those are remote in the immediate future IMO.

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