Chattanooga Choo Choo Reprise

Monday, January 06, 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

Education From A Businessman's Point Of View

Our school board should be viewed as a board of directors that works for us, the stockholders of an education system in which the entire community is invested. With a $400 million budget, it is important that we elect individuals with business experience not only to manage how funds are allocated, but also to seriously evaluate human resources to enlist the best management team ... (click for more)

VW Investment Questions

Clearly, our city and county government are going to award an additional $52 million in local tax payer resources to VW assuming a return of 2,000 jobs direct, and indirect return. To weigh the rate of return to the community, someone had to assume how long the 2,000 direct jobs would exist. Does anyone know how long our government assumed 2,000 job would continue or sustain for ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Stone Leaves South Pitt For Coaching Positions At Boyd-Buchanan

The possibility of a career move was definitely in Wes Stone’s future. The one he took wasn’t necessarily on his radar screen just a few weeks ago. Stone, assistant football and head baseball coach at South Pittsburg, has left the Pirates for teaching/coaching positions at Boyd-Buchanan. The 38-year-old Stone, who already is working with the Bucs’ football team as a defensive ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy's Wright Commits To MTSU Baseball

Soddy-Daisy’s Andy Wright, a rising senior and dual-threat player, has made a non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University. Wright, a pitcher/third baseman, chose the Conference USA Blue Raiders over Belmont, Air Force, Navy, UT-Martin and Carson-Newman. “I’m glad to get this (decision) off my back so I can enjoy my senior year,” Wright ... (click for more)