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satalac

memphis to bristol rail line

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It would have to be some form of high-speed rail to be remotely viable. An alternative for the trucks might be the proposed interstate from Memphis to Atlanta/Chattanooga via Huntsville, north of I22 which will be Memphis to Atlanta through B'ham. The Huntsville route, if I remember the details correctly would fork east of Huntsville, with one fork going north to Chattanooga, and one fork going south to Atlanta. I don't know what the interstate connections are like between Chattanooga and northeast Tennessee, but assuming they are efficient, then this Huntsville interstate might be a viable alternative as well to I40 through Nashville for trucks that want are just going through the state.

The thing with the Huntsville route, though, is that it's pretty low on TDOT's radar, with I69, the outer loop, various interchange improvements, proposed bridges over the river to alleviate Hernando Desoto, and I22 bigger priorities. Both the Huntsville route and I22 don't require a whole lot of involvement from Tennessee anyway, since their presence is limited to the area from where they enter the state to where they would hit the outer loop. The other states will dictate the viability of those routes, especially AL.

Reason I mention the Huntsville route, aside from it being an alternative for truck traffic, is that the rail line will take years to get done, perhaps as many years as the Huntsville route (which will take decades). The viability of the rail line, I think, is not so much in cargo, but in getting citizens to use it. For them to want to use it, it has to be fast. Then, other possibilities come into play. Extending it to to cities beyond our borders, through cooperation w/ other states. Maybe hit Louisville, Little Rock, Charlotte, Atlanta, B'ham, Jackson MS and New Orleans . . .

So I'd be interested to hear if anything has come of this rail line proposal as well.

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I am not sure about the rail from Bristol to Memphis, but there has been talk from a passenger train route from Bristol up through the mid-Atlantic, but this may extend out to west Tennessee as well. It was a hot topic awhile back, but not much said about it now. Last I heard it was still in the works, but needed more approvals. :unsure:

Our train station has recently underwent a major renovation. It has been here for a very long time and is an important part of the downtown history. Here is a photo of the trainstation after its remodel in very late summer 2005. This one is not as good as I thought- it only shows the front end of it.

Bristoltrainstation.jpg

This one @ night shows more of it, but it is rather fuzzy. This was with my old camera. I have a new camera now that I will be taking new photos with this spring.

bristolsept2005nbc.jpg

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I am not sure why that article did not mention North Carolina, but NC has been operating a state funded passenger rail system for 12 years now that links together Raleigh and Charlotte and it does take cars off, yes I-40 which also crosses our state. NC funds and owns the tracks and trainsets and Amtrack operates it as that allow integration with the Amtrak trains that go through the state.

The Carolinean

topcarolinian.jpg

The Piedmont

toppiedmont.jpg

As you can see it is conventional rail, but conventional rail does hit speeds of 80mph so it is faster than driving and considering the cost of gasoline these days much less expensive than driving between the two cities (200 miles). A ticket cost $22 each way without any discounts. The system is funded in part from the NC gasoline tax.

There are plans to expand the system out to Asheville. Maybe one day the Tennessee and NC system could be linked together. I would say that based on this, it is very possible for Tenn. to build a similar system then one day upgrade it to HSR.

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Wow! I didn't know this existed. At $22 per ticket I believe a lot of people would you it. I hope NC does extend it to Asheville. If so, a tie in with a Memphis - Bristol project would make a lot of sense.

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Yeah, a lot of folks here are looking forward to the passenger trains running in the regions.

There is one MAJOR cause for concern in our area however. The railroad tracks (the highly used ones) run across several major roadways in the city. They cross at least five that I know of in the city limits. Of those, about three have overpasses, where they can cross over the roadways, so traffic is not halted.

Currently, the two that do not have overpasses are major arteries. One is right in the downtown area at the train station, which obviously cannot be remedied with an overpass, due to its close proximity to the station. <_<

Two on the east center side of town do not have overpasses and it causes delay on several occasions, throughout the day/night. -_- I have actually seen emergency vehicles have to turn around and go the way over the bridge. If would not be so bad, but it often grinds to a halt right over the downtown street and even stretches back to E. Cedar. It can sometimes stay stationary for as long as 5-10 minutes, which causes a lot of grief and makes people cross. I guess it stalls because of track switches, because there are another set of tracks which veers from those that also goes downtown toward the old shipping yards. It too often stops and causes delay (and angry motorists) on the north side of downtown. :D

Hopefully when the passenger trains come roaring through, there will be no blocking of the major roads.

I wonder if this is a severe problem elsewhere? :unsure:

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Currently, the two that do not have overpasses are major arteries. One is right in the downtown area at the train station, which obviously cannot be remedied with an overpass, due to its close proximity to the station. <_<

This problem will be somewhat aleviated soon as a bridge is to be constructed from Pennsylvania Ave to Anderson Street just a block south of Stateline Street which will go over the tracks, allowing traffic to by-pass the crossing.

You should see construction starting soon.

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Yeah, that will be a tremendous help on that side of town. There is one close to there as you know on Ash Street, but it is a bit more of a drive and it is curvy. I look forward to the new road through there. I just hope they do not cut that huge, old southern magnolia tree there where the old YMCA used to be. :unsure::)

This problem will be somewhat aleviated soon as a bridge is to be constructed from Pennsylvania Ave to Anderson Street just a block south of State Street which will go over the tracks, allowing traffic to by-pass the crossing.

You should see construction starting soon.

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