The Music City Star, Tennessee

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Woodcut60

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
256
My son and I have been on a short but nice train journey in the state of Tennessee. We visited The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's home and mansion, now an interesting and beautiful museum, and we didn't want to take an Uber back to Nashville, so we took the Music City Star to Nashville Riverfront Station. Here are a few impressions of our trip. The train is unfortunately in a neglected state and it felt not very comfortable, I'm sorry to say. DSC00211.JPG DSC00215.JPG DSC00216.JPG DSC00218.JPG DSC00221.JPG DSC00224.JPG DSC00228.JPG DSC00231 (2).JPG
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,360
I love the music city star! They are just as comfortable as the Chicago metra cars... cause that’s what they are. Ha.

I agree they are not as comfortable as the modern bi-levels that run on the rail runner.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
863
I was about to ask if those were old Metra cars - they didn't even repaint them!

I'm kind of chuckling to myself since Woodcut is from a city that is close in size to Nashville, yet has light rail (both historic and new, both in commuter use), extensive subway system, commuter rail with a massive new tunnel and subterranean central station as well as narrow gauge commuter lines and mainline service that makes CUS look like Petticoat Junction. Big difference, huh?
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,407
My son and I have been on a short but nice train journey in the state of Tennessee. We visited The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's home and mansion, now an interesting and beautiful museum, and we didn't want to take an Uber back to Nashville, so we took the Music City Star to Nashville Riverfront Station. Here are a few impressions of our trip. The train is unfortunately in a neglected state and it felt not very comfortable, I'm sorry to say. View attachment 15429 View attachment 15430 View attachment 15431 View attachment 15432 View attachment 15433 View attachment 15434 View attachment 15435 View attachment 15436
Old Chicago Metra Cars!!
 

fairviewroad

Conductor
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,353
A definite transit unicorn.

How many standalone heavy rail lines are there in the US, (meaning commuter trains in metro areas with no other local rail transit)? I can only think of:

Music City Star
NM Rail Runner
SunRail (I don't count the Disney Monorail system as "local rail transit")
Capital MetroRail (Austin)

Even on that short list, the Music City Star stands out, since unlike the other cities on the list, Nashville doesn't even have Amtrak service.
 

Palmland

OBS Chief
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
787
Kudos to Nashville for getting this up and running with out massive investment. We rode it early in its life and found it functional, easy to access (downtown Nashville) but , no, not close to luxurious. After all it’s just a commuter railroad. They were helped immensely by having a willing partner in the Nashville and Eastern RR. No such luck with CSX on other lines that radiate from that fast growing city. I had relatives that worked for both predecessor railroads- the L&N and Tennessee Central.
 

Anthony V

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
197
They've also been studying a new commuter rail line to Clarksville, TN. The proposal would use the Nashville and Western railroad to Ashland City, than re-lay tracks the rest of the way to Clarksville. While this may sound cost-prohibitive, the roadbed is still intact all the way to Clarksville, with much of it being publicly owned as a rail-trail. These factors may lower the cost considerably because there is no land acquisition required and no need to build new roadbed from scratch. AFAIK, to accommodate the project, the plan is to move the rail-trail off to one side of the tracks, and then re-lay the tracks on the old roadbed.
 

jiml

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
894
There's an obvious joke there involving a "last train", but seriously, reclaiming a rail trail is not the easiest thing to do. A tourist railroad near me would like to do exactly this and found it's political suicide. Once the environmentalists and runners/cyclists were done with it, safety advocates would require fencing between the relocated trail and the track, with the latter being cost-prohibitive.
 

Palmland

OBS Chief
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
787
Is the rail still in place to Ashland City? From there to Clarksville would be tough. The TC was built as cheaply as possible- rather than cut and fill they found it easier just to install many wooden trestles, some of them quite high. It might be easier, with more population, to use CSX Main line to Guthrie, 12 miles from Clarksville, then the existing connection with RJ Corman RR to Clarksville. But, TN politics would have to be pushing it to get CSX to even talk about it.
 

fairviewroad

Conductor
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,353
There's an obvious joke there involving a "last train", but seriously, reclaiming a rail trail is not the easiest thing to do. A tourist railroad near me would like to do exactly this and found it's political suicide. Once the environmentalists and runners/cyclists were done with it, safety advocates would require fencing between the relocated trail and the track, with the latter being cost-prohibitive.
Wait...a fence is "cost-prohibitive?" I can't imagine doing a parallel trail/track project like this *without* a fence, actually.

If you're laying track, I'd kind of think the cost of a fence would be a rounding error, but what do I know?
 

jiml

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
894
The proposed "fence" here was more of a unscaleable wooden wall that not only addressed safety, but aesthetic and environmental concerns. That costs a lot more than a garden-variety chain link one that would surround a schoolyard or business. Coupled with fighting the protest from those losing access to the trail during construction or just having "their" trail compromised at all proved too much for a budget-conscious tourist railroad. Of course a local or regional government would theoretically have the financial or political clout to push something like this through, but few have the appetite in this "climate" to take on hikers, bikers and tree-huggers. I suspect Nashville is no different.

However, my complete post was meant to cover the totally uphill battle to reclaim a public trail for transportation use, with the fence being the final nail in the coffin - not the single defining item.
 
Last edited:

fairviewroad

Conductor
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,353
The proposed "fence" here was more of a unscaleable wooden wall that not only addressed safety, but aesthetic and environmental concerns. That costs a lot more than a garden-variety chain link one that would surround a schoolyard or business. Coupled with fighting the protest from those losing access to the trail during construction or just having "their" trail compromised at all proved too much for a budget-conscious tourist railroad. Of course a local or regional government would theoretically have the financial or political clout to push something like this through, but few have the appetite in this "climate" to take on hikers, bikers and tree-huggers. I suspect Nashville is no different.

However, my complete post was meant to cover the totally uphill battle to reclaim a public trail for transportation use, with the fence being the final nail in the coffin - not the single defining item.
I think I lost track of the conversation and thought you were saying that a fence would be cost-prohibitive for a publicly-funded commuter rail expansion...but for a tourist railroad, yes that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
 

jiml

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
894
I think I lost track of the conversation and thought you were saying that a fence would be cost-prohibitive for a publicly-funded commuter rail expansion...but for a tourist railroad, yes that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
The popularity of rehabilitated right-of-ways is a widespread phenomenon and in today's reality difficult to "take away" for any sort of construction or development. Even though the space once held trains and their restoration would be for the greater good, now the environmental aspects have to be considered, followed by the aesthetics and noise, then even minor details like fences. It doesn't take much to derail a solid proposal.
 

basketmaker

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
93
Never did the Star since it started shortly after I left Nashville. But have done many Tennessee Central and Nashville Eastern excursion the 28 years living there. Also, many Broadway Dinner Train runs that started what is now the Riverfront station.
 

Woodcut60

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
256
@railiner and Metra Electric Rider: Nice your knowledge of foreign languages. I had this prejudice against Americans... My apologies.;)
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,685
No worries....but Swedish language "is Greek to me"....😁

I cheated..."Google is your friend"...;)
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,422
Я думаю, что я один из немногих трехязычных людей здесь. Немецкий, русский и английский.
 
2
Top