Use The Current Rail System Already In Place - And Response (4)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Why spend $20 million or more on an unproven system to run from the Southside of Chattanooga when we already have the beginnings of a system? 

The question apparently has surfaced of why the Choo Choo City doesn't have a rail line. We do have a rail line with the Tennessee Valley RR Museum and their hardware. And they already make runs from the Southside to close to Enterprise South using a railroad tunnel already in existence.

No doubt legislation would need to be passed allowing them to enter the market. Improvements to meet federal guidelines would be needed. But here, locally, is where the money could be spent and the trains could be rolling. No waiting on years of planning and untold dollars on new track through the McCallie tunnels as well as purchases of right- of way through homes and business. 

When commuters were done, bring on the tourists and them back to the commuters again.

Don't spend time and money on what we mostly already have. Remember we are the Choo Choo City. 

Ralph Miller 

* * * 

The proposal for a light rail system in Chattanooga is an exciting idea.  But the proposed route system shown on the map in the CTFP did not have one route north of the river.  That is a serious oversight.  

A light rail system track up Signal Mountain would eliminate the need for a second highway, and remove pressure to make hugely expensive improvements to the existing roads.  

Old time Chattanoogans remember when there was a popular trolley/train that went from downtown to the top of the mountain. 

Everett Kidder
Chattanooga 

* * * 

The passenger rail proposal for the city of Chattanooga is exactly what it says, a proposal.  Proposals are certainly open to change, alterations, additions, subtractions, etc.  Nearly the entire proposed map of the system utilizes track or right-of-way which already exist, so the money would be budgeted for right-of-way improvements, upgrades of signaling safety systems, grade crossing protections, construction of stations, etc.  If the rail infrastructure had not been in place, one would need to triple the current estimate. 

Time and time again, light rail transit has proven to stimulate growth, encourage new development where there once was none, and provide a method of clean, cost effective, timely transit for the everyday commuter, corporate traveler or tourist.   

I personally ask the citizens of Hamilton County and the city of Chattanooga to keep an open mind on this project.  Share your ideas in the public forums which will no doubt take place once the grant money has been approved through the federal government for the feasibility study.  In my opinion (and to my understanding), the project will start with the segment which will create the largest initial impact... Downtown Chattanooga to the Chattanooga Airport.  Once the downtown-airport connection shows proof of concept, then we should consider further growth to outlying areas. 

If everyone before providing their own commentary on this project, please do your research. Read up on other transit initiatives in surrounding cities such as Charlotte, Tampa, and even Atlanta (who has always shown a love for the automobile) is bringing back streetcars and light rail.  If our city can support an entity such as Bike Chattanooga, for which we are the smallest municipality to host this style of bike share program, then surely we can 'play with the big boys' by looking to Chattanooga's past for a plan for the future.   

Justin Strickland 

* * * 

Why don’t we use the current main lines that are already in place? Tennessee taxpayers have to support Amtrak in other parts of the country. Why don’t we have commuter service? Using Norfolk Southern and CSX existing main lines, we could have service in the morning for a lot less than $20 million.  

CSX lines run across the street from the airport. A self-propelled rail car could run downtown in 10 minutes and the track has access to the Choo-Choo. It could start at Graysville and stop at the airport and then go to the Choo-Choo. We could have commuters from Ooltewah to downtown in minutes and from Soddy Daisy to downtown in minutes. There is track from Rossville, Alton Park and Chattanooga Valley.  A self-propelled rail car would only take minutes to clear up the main line for freight. 

These tracks were used until 1971. These would be real rail jobs and not play jobs like the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, most of their crews are volunteers.  The federal government can force the rail industry to participate because of federal funding the railroads receive. 

Chuck Davis, former Southern Railway and Norfolk Southern Trainman
Lookout Mountain, Tn.

* * *

Chuck Davis, thank you. I have long advocated for regional rail and was told several years ago by a politician that it could not happen because agreements could never be secured from the freight rail companies. it just makes sense to use what we have already in place and add to that as needs grow...and we have plenty in place already.

i could even see a "regional"  connection to Atlanta, while all the high-speed rail issues are being worked out. i would love to ride the train downtown from East Brainerd or other parts of the county, instead of fighting traffic everyday on I-75/24, or have visitors be able to hop on the train from the airport to downtown.

John Fricke


Funding For The ISIS Conflict

Since it seems inevitable that the United States  will once again beinvolved in a Middle East conflict that will never have any resolution, may I present an idea about the funding for this engagement  that has not been bantered?     Despite the fact that no Middle Eastern country will commit troops to fight ISIS, considering that ISIS is much ... (click for more)

The Republican War On Public Schools

Today’s education summit and its focus on Common Core is just a minor skirmish that ignores the major battles being waged by Republicans in their on-going War on Public Schools. This administration’s education policies feed fat cats while starving students and teachers. Out-of-state corporations and in-state segregation academies are pilfering, plundering, and profiting from the ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed Multiple Times On Cleveland Avenue Early Thursday Morning

A woman was stabbed multiple times early Thursday morning. At approximately 3 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2104 Cleveland Ave. for a stabbing. Officers located a black female in the roadway suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for her injuries and is in stable condition. Investigators have not been able to ... (click for more)

City Council Taking Applications From Those Interested In Serving On City IDB

The City Council is taking applications from those interested in serving on the city industrial Development Board (IDB).   There are four vacancies on the board that has been in the news for its controversial approval and re-approval of $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for developers of Aetna Mountain. Resumes are due by Sept. 29.   ... (click for more)

Hill, Wolfe Help Central Hand East Ridge First 6-AA Loss

On Tuesday, Central dropped its first District 6-AA volleyball match to Hixson. Two days later the Lady Purple Pounders did the same to East Ridge. With Rebekah Hill and Skyler Wolfe leading the rebound from Tuesday’s loss, Central swept East Ridge 3-0 and remained in the hunt for their second straight district championship. Set scores were 25-14, 25-16, 25-22. “The ... (click for more)

Lee Davis A Successful Runner Among Other Things

Lee Davis grew up in Philadelphia, went to college at Elizabethton College in Central Pennsylvania and graduated from law school at Boston University. He also became a pretty good runner during that time. Davis is a high-profile attorney in Chattanooga who does something physical every day.   He doesn’t train like he once did and he doesn’t even like to talk about ... (click for more)