Tennessee has been, until now, not much discussed in the HSR developments. Since my base of operation in Little Rock is so close to Memphis, that seems a shame. Today, the statewide paper, The Tennessean ran an editorial that contained plenty of good info.
The element that makes for “high-speed” rail is the use of magnetic levitation technology where rail cars float just above the guide rail, drawn in motion by magnets, in a process known as “mag-lev.” Such a line could move up to 310 mph. An Atlanta-to-Chattanooga line would alleviate crowding at the large Atlanta airport, would be a 54-minute ride and would cost an estimated $5 billion. A Nashville-to-Chattanooga line would be a 52-minute ride and would cost $5.4 billion. The estimated cost of a round-trip Nashville-to-Chattanooga ticket would be $75.
The development of conventional fast trains would be appreciated. Let’s be futuristic. How about a Memphis-Nashville-Knoxville-Asheville-Charlotte train to make connections with the Crescent and the northeast corridor?
Or a Memphis-Fort Worth corridor serving dozens of smaller towns?
These things are possible with a little determination and leadership.