The Music City Star, Tennessee

Discussion in 'Commuter Rail and Rail Transit Discussion' started by Woodcut60, Nov 2, 2019.

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  1. Nov 2, 2019 #1

    Woodcut60

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    Woodcut60

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    My son and I have been on a short but nice train journey in the state of Tennessee. We visited The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's home and mansion, now an interesting and beautiful museum, and we didn't want to take an Uber back to Nashville, so we took the Music City Star to Nashville Riverfront Station. Here are a few impressions of our trip. The train is unfortunately in a neglected state and it felt not very comfortable, I'm sorry to say. DSC00211.JPG DSC00215.JPG DSC00216.JPG DSC00218.JPG DSC00221.JPG DSC00224.JPG DSC00228.JPG DSC00231 (2).JPG
     
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  2. Nov 2, 2019 #2

    Seaboard92

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    The better train to ride from Nashville is the Tennessee Central Railway Museum’s weekend excursions. Fourteen stainless steel Budd cars. And runs on the same route.
     
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  3. Nov 2, 2019 #3

    crescent-zephyr

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    I love the music city star! They are just as comfortable as the Chicago metra cars... cause that’s what they are. Ha.

    I agree they are not as comfortable as the modern bi-levels that run on the rail runner.
     
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  4. Nov 3, 2019 #4

    Metra Electric Rider

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    I was about to ask if those were old Metra cars - they didn't even repaint them!

    I'm kind of chuckling to myself since Woodcut is from a city that is close in size to Nashville, yet has light rail (both historic and new, both in commuter use), extensive subway system, commuter rail with a massive new tunnel and subterranean central station as well as narrow gauge commuter lines and mainline service that makes CUS look like Petticoat Junction. Big difference, huh?
     
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  5. Nov 5, 2019 #5

    Bob Dylan

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    Old Chicago Metra Cars!!
     
  6. Nov 9, 2019 #6

    Woodcut60

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    @Metra Electric Rider: Wow, impressive knowledge of the Stockholm transportation system. I see you've been to Sweden (and Norway). Hope you enjoyed it.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2019 #7

    fairviewroad

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    A definite transit unicorn.

    How many standalone heavy rail lines are there in the US, (meaning commuter trains in metro areas with no other local rail transit)? I can only think of:

    Music City Star
    NM Rail Runner
    SunRail (I don't count the Disney Monorail system as "local rail transit")
    Capital MetroRail (Austin)

    Even on that short list, the Music City Star stands out, since unlike the other cities on the list, Nashville doesn't even have Amtrak service.
     
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  8. Dec 3, 2019 #8

    Palmland

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    Kudos to Nashville for getting this up and running with out massive investment. We rode it early in its life and found it functional, easy to access (downtown Nashville) but , no, not close to luxurious. After all it’s just a commuter railroad. They were helped immensely by having a willing partner in the Nashville and Eastern RR. No such luck with CSX on other lines that radiate from that fast growing city. I had relatives that worked for both predecessor railroads- the L&N and Tennessee Central.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2019 #9

    Anthony V

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    They've also been studying a new commuter rail line to Clarksville, TN. The proposal would use the Nashville and Western railroad to Ashland City, than re-lay tracks the rest of the way to Clarksville. While this may sound cost-prohibitive, the roadbed is still intact all the way to Clarksville, with much of it being publicly owned as a rail-trail. These factors may lower the cost considerably because there is no land acquisition required and no need to build new roadbed from scratch. AFAIK, to accommodate the project, the plan is to move the rail-trail off to one side of the tracks, and then re-lay the tracks on the old roadbed.
     
  10. Dec 4, 2019 #10

    jiml

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    There's an obvious joke there involving a "last train", but seriously, reclaiming a rail trail is not the easiest thing to do. A tourist railroad near me would like to do exactly this and found it's political suicide. Once the environmentalists and runners/cyclists were done with it, safety advocates would require fencing between the relocated trail and the track, with the latter being cost-prohibitive.
     
  11. Dec 4, 2019 #11

    Palmland

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    Is the rail still in place to Ashland City? From there to Clarksville would be tough. The TC was built as cheaply as possible- rather than cut and fill they found it easier just to install many wooden trestles, some of them quite high. It might be easier, with more population, to use CSX Main line to Guthrie, 12 miles from Clarksville, then the existing connection with RJ Corman RR to Clarksville. But, TN politics would have to be pushing it to get CSX to even talk about it.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2019 #12

    fairviewroad

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    Wait...a fence is "cost-prohibitive?" I can't imagine doing a parallel trail/track project like this *without* a fence, actually.

    If you're laying track, I'd kind of think the cost of a fence would be a rounding error, but what do I know?
     
  13. Dec 6, 2019 #13

    jiml

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    The proposed "fence" here was more of a unscaleable wooden wall that not only addressed safety, but aesthetic and environmental concerns. That costs a lot more than a garden-variety chain link one that would surround a schoolyard or business. Coupled with fighting the protest from those losing access to the trail during construction or just having "their" trail compromised at all proved too much for a budget-conscious tourist railroad. Of course a local or regional government would theoretically have the financial or political clout to push something like this through, but few have the appetite in this "climate" to take on hikers, bikers and tree-huggers. I suspect Nashville is no different.

    However, my complete post was meant to cover the totally uphill battle to reclaim a public trail for transportation use, with the fence being the final nail in the coffin - not the single defining item.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  14. Dec 6, 2019 #14

    fairviewroad

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    I think I lost track of the conversation and thought you were saying that a fence would be cost-prohibitive for a publicly-funded commuter rail expansion...but for a tourist railroad, yes that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
     
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  15. Dec 6, 2019 #15

    jiml

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    The popularity of rehabilitated right-of-ways is a widespread phenomenon and in today's reality difficult to "take away" for any sort of construction or development. Even though the space once held trains and their restoration would be for the greater good, now the environmental aspects have to be considered, followed by the aesthetics and noise, then even minor details like fences. It doesn't take much to derail a solid proposal.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2019 #16

    Metra Electric Rider

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    Tja, va' vil du veta om Stockholm, du?
     

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