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Nashville commuter rail construction begins

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One of 11 bi-level rail passenger cars, acquired from the Chicago Metra, that will be used on the East Corridor from Lebanon to Nashville at the end of 2005. The cars will have some modification and are being stored by MTA awaiting operation.


Hanne Flippen, marketing assistant for Regional Transportation Authority, gives a tour of some of the 11 bi-level cars, acquired from the Chicago Metro, that will be used in the East Corridor from Lebanon to Nashville at the end of 2005.

Work on commuter rail to begin within 6 weeks

Nashville-Lebanon line cost estimate rises to nearly $40 million

After several months of delays and a higher price tag, major construction on the Music City Star commuter rail is set to begin within six weeks.

The Regional Transportation Authority, which is helping organize the project, announced that a $7.6 million construction contract has been awarded to Queen City Railroad Construction Inc. That means major upgrades of the railroad tracks can begin. The earliest work will be between the downtown Nashville riverfront and Mt. Juliet.

Passenger service on the 32-mile Nashville-to-Lebanon rail is set to begin in late 2005. It is expected to help reduce growing interstate traffic congestion.

Construction had been delayed earlier this year because the state Department of Transportation, a financial partner in the project, had concerns about projected passenger numbers, as well as financial and other business details.

''I think the project is stronger because of it,'' said Allyson Shumate, rail projects coordinator for the RTA.

Because of TDOT's doubts, RTA officials spent several months developing a detailed business plan and won TDOT's support. TDOT is focusing on a new, long-term project plan that emphasizes more public transportation, including rail service.

''Commuter rail may be one part of the solution that we will consider on a case-by-case basis as part of this plan,'' TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely said.

The commuter-rail project is now budgeted for nearly $40 million

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Here is a map created using Streets & Trips - I outlined the 5 rail corridors on the map, it is the exact route of the rail lines. The Mt Juliet-Lebanon line is obviously the one being constructed.

I say the one out to Cheatham county has the least likelyhood of being created, but has an importance because of the high upper and middle class populations of West Nashville and Bellevue who have more connections to downtown then many think.


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