Nashville to Atlanta line

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Messages
4
New Orleans to Mobile is the only part that is under consideration for service commencement. It is way under the 750 mile threshold hence it is not part of the federal funded service.

As a matter of fact New Orleans to Jacksonville is also under 750 miles and hence has to be locally funded if and when it comes up for service revival. There is a possibility that it would be handled as an extension of the City of New Orleans thus making it more than 750 miles and hence part of the national network, if and when it happens and if enough equipment is available.
Interesting...??? So if a proposed Nashville to Memphis was added to the Nashville to Atlanta line with the addition of a Memphis to Little Rock, then the Texas Eagle could branch off into a A or B line in Little Rock. Somewhat like the Empire Builder splits. that would break the 750 mile threashold.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,617
Interesting...??? So if a proposed Nashville to Memphis was added to the Nashville to Atlanta line with the addition of a Memphis to Little Rock, then the Texas Eagle could branch off into a A or B line in Little Rock. Somewhat like the Empire Builder splits. that would break the 750 mile threashold.
If Amtrak is willing to take on the cost of running that service without local help then that would be a way to do it. So far though Amtrak has not been willing to take on additional costs since they are trying to break even on operations.
 

AGM.12

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
72
If Amtrak acquires the Hulsey yard site, how feasible would it be to route the Crescent and any other corridor trains from Charlotte to a station built there? It would be interesting to see if corridor service could be routed over the old Georgia to Augusta then the C&WC/SAL route to Savannah.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,067
If Amtrak acquires the Hulsey yard site, how feasible would it be to route the Crescent and any other corridor trains from Charlotte to a station built there? It would be interesting to see if corridor service could be routed over the old Georgia to Augusta then the C&WC/SAL route to Savannah.
Crescent to Hulsey ? Not very.
1. It would have to change to CSX ( L&N, NC&SL, W&A RRs ) at Howell CP, go thru downtown onto old GaRR to Hulsey.
2. A full 4 main track interlocking somewhere south of Howell could be installed allowing CSX, NS, and Amtrak to switch. CSX and NS now have 2 main tracks each paralleling from Howell to downtown. That way they booth could share all 4 tracks. With a new connection at Howell from southbound NS track 1 ( present track Amtrak uses ) to CSX that could eliminate the often freight train delays to the Crescent. That might give CSX and NS an incentive to follow this possibility..
Still would need a balloon track a Hulsey so Crescent could backtrack to Howell CP ~ 5 miles. Connections have been severed at Howell and would need restoring to access NS ( SOU ) tracks both ways otherwise.

EDIT: Further thought this would allow trains from the south ( C of Ga NS and A&WP CSX ) to also access Hulsey. Essentially this would allow all rail lines to access one downtown station. Depending on where the station is built a direct connection to one of three MARTA east line stations with only an overpass of DeKalb avenue needed.

An additional track from downtown over I-75 to Hulsey might be needed to eliminate and CSX freight train interference ?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
4
I am a engineer for CSX. I work along the W&A mainline. We have been informed Amtrak will be using our line to run 2 sets of trains a day on our track Nashville to Atlanta. Also Amtrak is proposing to purchase our old Hulsey Yard.
That is super. I am glad CSX is going to work with Amtrak.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
4
I spoke with the assistant to Tennessee State Rep. Clay Doggett yesterday and he is for Amtrak but not any state funding. Can anyone help me to find information of how much the State of Tennessee pays for the Amtrak line from Memphis to Dyersburg. I'm writing a letter to the Lawrence County Advocate concerning the new Amtrak proposals.
i'd like to write letters too. Please tell me how to help.
 

LookingGlassTie

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Messages
513
If I understand correctly, if the Nashville to Atlanta train comes to fruition, is it possible beyond that that the route could be extended from Atlanta to Savannah?

If that happens would the route extension roughly follow the route of I-16 (ATL to SAV)?

It would be great if the new train could connect with both Silver trains and the Palmetto, if scheduling permits that.
 

ScouseAndy

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
346
If I understand correctly, if the Nashville to Atlanta train comes to fruition, is it possible beyond that that the route could be extended from Atlanta to Savannah?

If that happens would the route extension roughly follow the route of I-16 (ATL to SAV)?

It would be great if the new train could connect with both Silver trains and the Palmetto, if scheduling permits that.
I cant see that the plan would be to run Nashville to Savannah as a single route considering they are planning to locate the yard in Atlanta as it is pointless having a yard at a midpoint location on a service. Maybe a separate Atlanta to Savannah route would be on the cards considering the need for a yard. After all does the Heartland flyer service require a yard at either end?
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,422
The fastest route to Savannah is using the old CofG via Macon which uses part of the old S&A around SAV. The issue with Atlanta is no matter where you put a station you’re shooting yourself in the foot because there is just so much potential.

Birmingham-Atlanta on the current route
Atlanta-Charlotte via Greenville on the current route.
Atlanta-Augusta-Columbia-Charlotte via the GA, SOU R line.
Atlanta-Savannah via Macon
Atlanta-Jacksonville via Macon
Atlanta-Montgomery.
Atlanta-Nashville
Atlanta-Knoxville.

There is no one spot that works for all of these routes without losing connectivity to one.
 

Pere Flyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
421
I cant see that the plan would be to run Nashville to Savannah as a single route considering they are planning to locate the yard in Atlanta as it is pointless having a yard at a midpoint location on a service. Maybe a separate Atlanta to Savannah route would be on the cards considering the need for a yard.
Separate services meeting in ATL would make the most operational sense with the yard being there.
After all does the Heartland flyer service require a yard at either end?
The HF only requires a wye at each end to turn the set, as the morning’s 821 becomes the evening’s 822, and I presume vice versa. There is a handful of track space at FTW for Amtrak operations, as FTW is a crew and maintenance base. As I recall, HF cars will sometimes shuffle into TE No. 22’s consist and run to the Chicago shops for more rigorous maintenance.
Hopefully, Nashville-Atlanta/Savannah-Atlanta services are more frequent than Oklahoma’s three-car, once-daily, Fort Worth Day Trip operation, and will require Hulsey Yard for all the rolling stock a frequent regional service requires [emoji6]
 

AGM.12

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
72
One more possible ATL to SAV routing would be Georgia RR to Augusta then C&WC/SAL to SAV.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
837
If they did establish ATL to SAV that would allow JAX and south the ability to go to Atlanta without going to WDC ... there may be some layover time - but, it would be possible
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,682
If they ever ran a thru train from Jacksonville to New Orleans, via Savannah, Macon, and Atlanta, it would only take about 4 hours longer than Amtrak's Sunset did...
based on the schedule of the CofG Nancy Hanks, and today's Amtrak trains...
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
4
The state may not pay anything on long distance lines but we do need to have state involvement with Nashville to Atlanta. Reference Virginia and North Carolina Departments of Transportation are doing this. We need to be forward-thinking like them!
 

Palmetto

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
1,931
The state may not pay anything on long distance lines but we do need to have state involvement with Nashville to Atlanta. Reference Virginia and North Carolina Departments of Transportation are doing this. We need to be forward-thinking like them!

You are preaching to the choir here. It's the likes of DOTs in states such as Ohio, Indiana, New Hampshire, etc, that need to be forward-thinking on this issue. We could also throw in Florida and Texas, and a few others. THAT'S the problem with moving anything forward for corridors IMO.
 

Palmetto

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
1,931
These kinds of articles always make me sad. we have been trying to get train service back in the Florida panhandle for 15 years on a route that is "suspended...", Believe it when you see it.
I believe there's a difference, though. The Atlanta to Nashville service is something Amtrak WANTS to do. They apparently did NOT want to keep the Sunset running east of New Orleans.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
792
This won't happen unless TN and GA get involved with GA being the key. A new Atlanta stations must come first. But the biggest problem is the geography. The fastest schedule ever operated was about 6 hours for the 285 miles. That's not highway competitive and you can't move mountains without massive investment. More likely are short commuter type runs from both cities into the distant suburbs or maybe Murfreesboro from Nashville and Cartersville from Atlanta.

Now Nashville to Memphis is certainly feasible with good potential stations at both ends and relatively flat for the 225 miles. I suspect rail traffic on CSX is less than on the Atlanta route. Tennessee would no doubt be more interested in paying for an intrastate service than one going to Atlanta. It could of course connect to the CONO.
With how Republican controlled the Tennessee and Georgia legislatures are, as AMAZING as a Nashville-Atlanta Amtrak train would be, I'm not holding my breath it'll be approved. The most I could see being approved in the Atlanta area(and a BIG IF, were the Georgia legislature to somehow approve funding it), is possible new commuter train service along the rail line northwest between Atlanta and Marietta. Maybe if there was enough push by legislators, the train could possibly run at least northwest to Kennesaw, if not further to say like Cartersville? Also it'd be interesting if commuter rail service was ever considered for the areas northeast of Atlanta like north to Norcross, if not possibly further like Buford and Gainesville? Sadly with me remembering I read online that Gwinnett County residents voted down expanding bus service not long ago in a referendum, I'm sadly not holding my breath it will be approved. I really BADLY wish it could be approved, due to how very well I know how horrible traffic issues are in the Atlanta area!

And to a lesser but growing extent, Nashville definitely also suffers from similar traffic issues due to growth in its metro area in recent years. Someone else mentioned the Music City Star commuter train, and yep for sure it'd be great if more than just Nashville to Lebanon service existed. Like say have new commuter rail lines created for service south to Franklin, southeast to Murfreesboro, northeast to Gallatin, and northwest to Clarksville. I do worry there'd be enough NIMBY voters, to at least some commuter rail proposals from seeing the light of day sadly. I.e. I worry that a line to Clarksville wouldn't get approved, but maybe for all I know Williamson County voters(near Franklin) or Rutherford County voters(near Murfreesboro) would approve new commuter rail proposals? Also it'd be great if more weekday service ran(NOT just during rush hours), and ditto with creating regular Saturday and Sunday service.

Not saying it isn't impossible for new train service to be created, as evidenced by the fact that Mobile, AL's city council approved funding for a regional Amtrak Mobile-New Orleans train that'll enter service sometime in the next few years. It is sad Alabama's governor(Kay Ivey) rejected signing off on funding for that train, but doesn't surprise me she acted like a typical GOPer in sadly rejecting such funding. :(
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,067
Dogbert617: Several problems. With the Hulsey yard option apparently off the table a station downtown or at least next to MARTA rail closes that advantage. Hulsey would be downtown with a stop at 5 points a bonus. The problem of Howell CP being at grade intersection of CSX and NS 6 + lines intersect and run over the CP will never allow reliable on time commuter rail. Just look at the Crescent delays there ! A flyover will have to be built there. t

Then Atlanta is going to have to find a station location with a final capacity of 10 - 12 platform tracks.

Commuter train service Atlanta - Marietta - Cartersville will require at least 3 main tracks for reliable service. That will not be as much of a problem that will occur elsewhere as the state does own that rail line leased to CSX. Howell CP a problem that line. Norcross will need a third track as well although the state already has built at least one underpass bridge maybe more for 3 main tracks. Howell a problem there also.

Athens on CSX also same problems . Howell CP a problem there also.

Nashville --- Music City Star cannot add more service without installing PTC first on the whole line. It will need PTC equipped locos if it ever gets a downtown Nashville station over CSX tracks.

Nashville - Murfreesboro will need a second main track for Amtrak and more sidings all the way to Atlanta over CSX. Murfreesboro - Nashville will probably need a 3rd main track for commuter.

As much as I like these proposals cannot see where the money will come unless from federal funds.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
792
Dogbert617: Several problems. With the Hulsey yard option apparently off the table a station downtown or at least next to MARTA rail closes that advantage. Hulsey would be downtown with a stop at 5 points a bonus. The problem of Howell CP being at grade intersection of CSX and NS 6 + lines intersect and run over the CP will never allow reliable on time commuter rail. Just look at the Crescent delays there ! A flyover will have to be built there. t

Then Atlanta is going to have to find a station location with a final capacity of 10 - 12 platform tracks.

Commuter train service Atlanta - Marietta - Cartersville will require at least 3 main tracks for reliable service. That will not be as much of a problem that will occur elsewhere as the state does own that rail line leased to CSX. Howell CP a problem that line. Norcross will need a third track as well although the state already has built at least one underpass bridge maybe more for 3 main tracks. Howell a problem there also.

Athens on CSX also same problems . Howell CP a problem there also.

Nashville --- Music City Star cannot add more service without installing PTC first on the whole line. It will need PTC equipped locos if it ever gets a downtown Nashville station over CSX tracks.

Nashville - Murfreesboro will need a second main track for Amtrak and more sidings all the way to Atlanta over CSX. Murfreesboro - Nashville will probably need a 3rd main track for commuter.

As much as I like these proposals cannot see where the money will come unless from federal funds.
Thanks for mentoning a lot of the existing issues, with new commuter rail service if any of those attempted to be created near Atlanta or Nashville.

And of course with the process of applying for federal funds, and needing enough politicians to support new public transit proposals, I am scared none of them will be approved anytime soon. Though I really desperately wish any of these commuter rail proposals would get approved, myself.
 
2
Top