Rail Solution is a non-profit 501c(3) citizens group dedicated to bringing high performance, fast “Steel Interstate” passenger and freight rail service to our part of the country, and eventually to all parts of the country. What we are proposing would affect Chattanooga in a very positive way, leading to fast connections by rail in every direction. I am writing to invite you join us in this effort, as an individual and as a key person holding a position in the community.
Steel Interstate System concept- fast rail on modernized rail system
The Rail Solution concept is for a grade-separated (no at grade crossings by vehicles), multi-tracked, electrified, national rail system, capable of achieving greater speed (79-110mph), reliability, and significantly expanded capacity.
The present freight rail system would be upgraded over a period of time to accommodate all types of rail service, with emphasis on revolutionary improvements in fast intermodal freight and passenger service. The system would be operated as a private for-profit enterprise and be financed though cooperative private-public financing.
We are advocating the development and operation of a Prototype Steel Interstate System in the I-81, I-75, and I-40 Corridor between Memphis, Tennessee and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to demonstrate the concept. This would be done by upgrading the existing private railroad line to Steel Interstate concept standards. The prototype trains would operate from Memphis through Huntsville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Bristol, Roanoke, Waynesboro, and Hagerstown to Harrisburg with connections to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston. (See Figure 1.) The development of the prototype on this route would be a catalyst for expansion of the concept in various directions, including Atlanta and Birmingham to the south and Arkansas and Texas to the west, as well as other directions.
Although full cost benefit analyses need to be done, our preliminary studies show that the demonstration is attractive from the point-of-view of economics and minimizing environmental and human impacts, while providing superior benefits to other alternatives for the traffic volume present now and projected for the future. It should be noted that the Norfolk Southern Corporation does not support this project, nor the Steel Interstate concept, apparently because the concept goes well beyond the scope of what they plan to do in upgrading their system.
Join our network for support of the Steel Interstate System Because of your interest in the future of our region, I am writing to urge you to join our network of citizens supporting RAIL Solution. That network is kept informed by newsletters to our mailing list, by our websites, and by the Rail Solution facebook page. These keep you up-to-date on our work for rail infrastructure and service improvements and for opportunities to assist in the work of Rail Solution.
Implementation of the Steel Interstate Prototype in the I-81-75-40 corridor would provide essential benefits to the region:Diversion of long- and mid-distance truck freight from the interstate highways to the Steel Interstate in the corridor; Mobility for freight and people at less cost than expanded highway lanes, while reducing maintenance subsidies for heavy trucks now shouldered by taxpayers;
Improved safety and reduced congestion problems on existing interstates;
Provision of additional choices of “just in time” transportation at lower cost; Reduced pollution, enhancing air quality and public health;
Improved energy efficiency and reduced transportation dependency on petroleum;
Renewed economic vitality to small and large communities along these corridors.
The provision of passenger rail service to the region for the first time in almost 50 years.
You can learn more about RAIL Solution at www.railsolution.org. You can explore the Steel Interstate System concept at www.steelinterstate.org.
A.L. "Pete" Lotts
Member, Board of DirectorsRail Solution