Nashville TN: Music City Star

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby GWoodle » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:53 pm

Yeah, I'm aware of the East-West BRT Connector. While I'm all for it, and I think it will lead to light rail in the not-so-distant future if they're able to pull it off, there is a lot of distraction from expanding the commuter rail network to make it an actually usable system for more than a couple thousand people.

But you're right, there is a dearth of info out there on MCS. They'll provide press releases on occasion, but so often they're meshed in with info on the regional bus systems without any distinction. It's unfortunate. It makes me think they have no intentions of improving service, let alone expanding, when there is absolutely no news to report on it.[/quote]

Forget any expansion into light rail or heavy commuter rail . Not going to happen here. CSX owns most of the rail from L&N- NC&Stl Dixie line days. Track too clogged with freight to run any passenger trains. Once the Floridian left, takes away any passenger train clogging up the lines from Chicago to the Southeast. Watch CSX news for heavy investment in more freight.

The BRT won't go to light rail. no good place to put it. Cost $100 mil more with no benefit. No subway/elevated train service in Nashville.

In sum, the MCS is what it does. Take a little used short line freight line with few connections into the national rail system. Spend $1Mil per mile to rebuild the track from the ballast up. Get old cars for $1 & repaint them to make them look better. Get the last of the useable F40 from Amtrak to pull 3-4 cars. Not a high demand service on a curvy, hilly route to the 10th largest city in the area. Mass transit in Nashville will mean more bus lines, hopefully with dedicated HOV/BRT lanes.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby Balerion » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:11 pm

With First Neighborhood Built Around A Train Station, Lebanon Embraces Commuter Rail -- Nashville Public Radio

Lots of TOD talk here.

Craighead envisions Lebanon as a transit-oriented town. The city already has two train stations and he would like to add at least two more. He says other mayors are jealous of the Music City Star.

“They’ve realized its potential, and over the years it’s going to grow in importance and value for our community,” said Craighead.

Moving beyond simply adding train stations, Craighead wants new construction that can be tied into the rail line somehow.

...

When asked what his sales pitch to developers sounds like, Bland said “frankly, they’re the ones giving me the elevator pitch.”

It’s a new way of thinking for the region and Bland says some of the pressure is coming from the outside.

“We've got out of town investors coming in looking at investment opportunities, and the first question they ask us is 'where's your transit system?' We want to be near the transit system,” said Bland.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby Bob Roberts » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:26 pm

[quote="Balerion"]With First Neighborhood Built Around A Train Station, Lebanon Embraces Commuter Rail -- Nashville Public Radio

Lots of TOD talk here.

The longer the Music City Star manages to hang on, the more impressive it starts to look to me. I know it doesn't carry a ton of people (700 per day) but ridership has steadily grown despite some serious handicaps. Limited frequencies, mediocre speed, beat up coaches, nearly non-existent transit connections at the terminal, a terminal which is peripheral to much of the CBD and stations in the middle of nowhere are all issues that hold the service back. So while 700 passengers per day is a sad number, given the obstacles, and the fact that capital costs were only $41 million, I think things are going better than knowledgeable observers would expect.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby Balerion » Mon May 16, 2016 3:24 pm

Talk of another commuter rail route from Nashville to Clarksville.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/mi ... s#stream/0
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby NH2060 » Wed May 18, 2016 11:11 am

Balerion wrote:Talk of another commuter rail route from Nashville to Clarksville.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/mi ... s#stream/0

Judging from the comments in articles I've read so far this probably should have been built over 10 years ago instead of the Nashville-Lebanon line.

Will be interesting to see if/when there will be a.. ahem.. "First Train To Clarksville" ;-)
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby electricron » Wed May 18, 2016 2:43 pm

NH2060 wrote:
Balerion wrote:Talk of another commuter rail route from Nashville to Clarksville.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/mi ... s#stream/0

Judging from the comments in articles I've read so far this probably should have been built over 10 years ago instead of the Nashville-Lebanon line.

Will be interesting to see if/when there will be a.. ahem.. "First Train To Clarksville" ;-)

You might have a point. But it appears to me that the Nashville area COGs, whatever it is called, is being realistic and proposing new commuter rail lines on corridors that the local freight railroad companies are willing to share with passenger rail. Sort of a quid pro pro arrangement, the local freight railroad company is asking the Nashville COG for financial help to maintain their tracks, and in return the Nashville COG wants slots for passenger trains. It's a trade, plain and simple!
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby GWoodle » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:02 pm

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/20 ... /86468984/

Moving Radnor yard could be Nashville game changer

Seems to me most freight comes from Evansville, some from Louisville, a little from Memphis. About 1/2 to Atlanta, about 1/2 to Birmingham. 70+ trains a day.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby GWoodle » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:30 pm

http://www.nashvillesteam.org/press-rel ... pen-house/

http://www.nashvillesteam.org/


I hope you don't mind posting this here,
Nashville Steam is a group formed to restore & some day operate NC & STL #576 to operation. It is a Class J3 known as a Glider, Stripe, or Yellow Jacket 4-8-4.
The engine has been in Centennial Park near the Parthenon building for about 60 years.

More info about the engine if you follow the link above.
Friday October 14 from 4 till 10 PM Nashville Steam will be hosting a Free Open House at the Centennial Park site.

Get your pictures while you can. The engine will be removed from the park site maybe winter 2016-2017.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby Anthony » Wed May 17, 2017 11:47 am

Looks like construction on the new Hamilton Springs station has begun.

http://www.lebanondemocrat.com/Transpor ... tream&lp=9
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:13 am

It would appear that the Star's route is "where the people ain't". I was in Nashville two weekends ago (when they had some city wide Country Music Festival going on; talk about having to pay $185/ni for an Express!!!!) visiting friends who reside in Antioch and who were completely unaware MCS even exists.

Nashville's population growth appears to follow the 65 and 24 Corridors - the parallel CSX rail lines have other more "precision railroading" uses.

Sooner or later, someone will pull the plug. It would appear they "can't even give it away".

It might have been a different story had the MCS operated along the noted Corridors, but, absent some massive public funding, is not to be.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:53 am

MCS was supposed to be the first line in a network of seven. That's actually where the "Star" part of the name came from - the completed network would have resembled a star, with the southern two points being along I-24 and I-65. The line to Lebanon was far and away the cheapest and easiest to build first since it uses the tracks of a short line railroad, rather than having to deal with CSX.

I don't think the service is in any danger of having the plug pulled though. Ridership has been steadily growing since the service's inception 10 years ago, even though it does remain the least ridden commuter rail system in North America. It's worth noting though that on a ridership-per-mile basis it actually outperforms Shore Line East and the NM Rail Runner. And it's not particularly vulnerable politically because the service only cost $41 million to launch - shockingly cheap based on the cost of similar projects elsewhere. There's single stations more expensive than that in the northeast. Not sure what the annual operations costs are like though...

It's also worth noting that Nashville's recently unveiled "nMotion" regional transportation plan does include improvements to the MCS and a new line to the northwest, along with a couple of light rail lines, including in the I-24 and I-65 corridors, with express bus extensions out to Murfreesboro and Spring Hill.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:16 am

Mr. Pumpkins, whether we are addressing the "In Motion" study you immediately note, or this Let's Move Nashville initiative, which for all I know is one in same, neither foresee expansion of the existing Music City Star.

Both appear to be focused around "light rail" and dedicated "busways", any kind of mass transit initiative will have a "tough sledding" in this "motor vehicle-centric" culture of the metropolitan area. I'm there every year to visit with friends; and I think I know first hand. Also, on Friday, I'll be driving through - most likely on the "belt" Briley Parkway en-route to Atlanta.

Mayor Barry is a courageous lady to propose an initiative like this; especially since she lost her Son to "Fent" or whatever. But no matter how much sympathy her loss generates, this plan is "going down" - especially since much funding is to be from local sourced excise taxes.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby Bob Roberts » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:27 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr. Pumpkins, whether we are addressing the "In Motion" study you immediately, or this Let's Move Nashville initiative, which for all I know is one in same, neither foresee expansion of the existing Music City Star.

Both appear to be focused around "light rail" and dedicated "busways", any kind of mass transit initiative will have a "tough sledding" in this "motor vehicle-centric" culture of the metropolitan area. I'm there every year to visit with friends; and I think I know first hand. Also, on Friday, I'll be driving through - most likely on the "belt" Briley Parkway en-route to Atlanta.

Mayor Barry is a courageous lady to propose an initiative like this; especially since she lost her Son to "Fent" or whatever. But no matter how much sympathy her loss generates, this plan is "going down" - especially since much funding is to be from local sourced excise taxes.


While I am reluctant to prognosticate on the Nashville transit tax election in May I will say that there is a rapidly growing awareness in Nashville, Raleigh, Atlanta and Charlotte (where I am) that the auto-centric culture of these places is becoming an impediment to growth. This is paralleled with a sense that spending more on roads does little to reduce congestion. Cars are important to these places, but growth is even more important -- I would bet Nashville residents will approve the tax as they see it as the only option for avoiding gridlock in the future.

I do think that Amazon's HQ2 RFP opened many peoples eyes (including in the Sunbelt) to the importance of transit in enabling economic growth.
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Re: Nashville TN: Music City Star

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:54 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr. Pumpkins, whether we are addressing the "In Motion" study you immediately, or this Let's Move Nashville initiative, which for all I know is one in same, neither foresee expansion of the existing Music City Star.


Then it seems to me that you didn't actually read "nMotion", because it's in there clear as day. From page 23:
Music City Star service will be upgraded to all-day, seven-day-a-week service, a new station will be constructed at Hamilton Springs, and service will be extended to Lebanon’s planned Expo Center. Much or all of the line will be double-tracked to enable the more frequent service, and new replacement vehicles will be purchased.

Immediately below that is the "Northwest Corridor" - a commuter rail line to Clarksville and Ashland City. It is noted though that this would be a longer-term project compared to most of the others.

You are correct though that the "Let's Move Nashville" plan does not seem mention commuter rail at all, at least in the map and news article you linked. I'm not sure if that's an intentional omission or ignorant reporting though.
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