Chattanooga Choo Choo Reprise

Monday, January 6, 2014

Let's make passenger trains part of our future as well as part of our past. 

The excellent current series in Chattanoogan.com reminds us of our incredibly rich railroad legacy. It also brought back personal memories for me. My father rode the train when he was a student at Emory University in Atlanta. My high school class trip to Washington, DC in the mid-1960s departed from Terminal Station. 

When I lived in Oregon, I was a big fan of Amtrak Cascades, a passenger train route from Eugene through Portland and Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. They have recently added two new Talgo trains with features like fast wi-fi, large windows and a bistro car for meals. The Oregon and Washington state DOTs are two major funding partners, recognizing how the almost one million riders per year relieve the congestion on Interstate 5.  

Why can't we figure out a way to have a passenger train from Chattanooga through Atlanta to Orlando (so we can ask Disney to be one of our funding partners)?  As in the Northwest, we would work out an agreement with the freight lines to use their existing tracks. Of course, this arrangement would also make it easier for folks from the south to visit the wonderful city that Chattanooga has become.  

Unlikely, yes. Impossible, no. Who would have thought 10 years ago that Chattanooga would have the fastest internet speed in the western hemisphere? 

Helen Burns Sharp

Roy Exum: Want To Protest? Get Paid!

In a troubling time when “false news” is the rage and people ask me – to my face – if anybody from Russia ever approached me personally searching for votes for President-elect Donald Trump, there appears a website that, to cop a phrase, “is too good to be true.” There is a group out of California that allegedly wants to hire “operatives” to protest Friday’s inauguration. Forget ... (click for more)

During A Martin Luther King, Jr. March Is Not A Time To Campaign

It truly amazing what Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished at just 39 years of age. He changed an entire country. Dr. King was not in elected office or in any position of power. Yet, he accomplished more than any politician.  To me the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision was an expectation of life centered in education, hard work, and accomplishment that in time would evolve ... (click for more)

School Board Turns Thumbs Down To Proposed Funding Of Central Track

County school board members on Thursday night expressed a number of concerns about a proposed $500,000 new track under consideration for funding by the County Commission at Central High School. The vote was 9-0 to table a motion to accept the money (if offered). Karitsa Mosley-Jones said, "We've got students at schools on a high priority list and you're going to give me a track?" ... (click for more)

School Board Approves 4-Year Contract Extension With Independent Bus Drivers, Who Say They Can Handle 100 Routes; Extension Given On Custodial Contract

The county school board on Thursday night extended the contract by four years of school bus owner operators, who said they could deliver on 100 bus routes. The board delayed until a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Central High School the issue of whether to accept the offer of 100 contract routes. That would be handled by many of the current 49 owner operators taking ... (click for more)

Smooth-Operating Cameron Leads Tyner Past 'Canes

Tyner may occasionally have an off night scoring, but that Rams defense is always spot-on. East Hamilton saw that first hand Thursday night in a hot Tyner Academy gymnasium. It didn’t rain points. Neither offense was sparkling, but the Rams had a distinct edge on one end of the court throughout the game – East Hamilton’s. The Rams got to almost every loose ball, most ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wrestlers Whip Walker Valley, 60-12

The undefeated and top-ranked Cleveland Blue Raider wrestling team just keeps rolling along, winning the close ones and also winning the ones not so close. Thursday night at Walker Valley, the Blue Raiders recorded five pins, three technical falls and two forfeits in a 60-12 victory over the Mustangs. Those pins came from Bryce Pond, Colton Landers, Austin Sweeney, Dylan Jones ... (click for more)