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Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
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   Author  Topic: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System  (Read 1365 times)
George_Harris
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Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« on: Dec 16th, 2004, 6:13am »
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Have not seen any discussion on this subject, but their first line should be up and running next year.  Their proposed start service date is October 21, 2005.  Their web site is www.rta-ride.org.  
 
FIRST LINE:  Lebanon, Tennessee to Nashville, Tennessee, 32 miles.
(Milepost locations for stops pulled by me from track charts, may vary a few tenths or even more)
Proposed Schedule:
Westbound: . . . . . . . . Morning Trains . . . . . . . . “Flip Back”
32.2 Lebanon . . . . . . . 6:25 . . . 6:55 . . . xxxx . . . . xxxx
23.4 Martha . . . . . . . . .6:39 . . . 7:09 . . . xxxx . . . . xxxx
17.0 Mt. Juliet . . . . . . .6:49 . . . 7:19 . . . 8:04 . . . . 17:14
11.6 Chandler Road . . 6:58 . . . 7:28 . . . 8:13 . . . . 17:23
07.8 Donelson Pike . . .7:05 . . . 7:35 . . . 8:20 . . . . 17:30
00.5 Nashville . . . . . . .7:17 . . . 7:47 . . . 8:32 . . . . 17:42
(At Riverfront Station, approximate location of former Tennessee Central station, not the L&N – NC&St.L Union Station)  
 
Proposed Schedule:
Eastbound: . . . . . . . . . Afternoon Trains . . . . . . . . . “Flip Back”
00.5 Nashville . . . . . . .16:35 . . . 17:15 . . . 17:50 . . . . 7:23
07.8 Donelson Pike . . .16:47 . . . 17:27 . . . 18:02 . . . . 7:35
11.6 Chandler Road . . 16:54 . . . 17:34 . . . 18:09 . . . . 7:42
17.0 Mt. Juliet . . . . . . .17:03 . . . 17:43 . . . 18:18 . . . . 7:51
23.4 Martha . . . . . . . . .xxxxx . . .17:54 . . . 18:29 . . . . xxxx
32.2 Lebanon . . . . . . . xxxxx . . . 18:07 . . . 18:42 . . . . xxxx
 
The "flip back" is a reverse move so that three trips can be made with only two sets of equipment.  It would also serve to haul reverse commuters.
 
Nashville has a plan to ultimately have commuter service into town from five directions.  That means all existing railroad lines into town will ultimately be carrying commuter trains.  So far as I know there has been no work on the other lines, but the first line, Nashville to Lebanon TN, is well under way.  They have picked the line that was easiest to implement and run with it.  
 
What do they have now?
 
They have obtained 11 used gallery cars from Chicago METRA and 2 used locomotives from Amtrak.  These are being refurbished and repainted and are in Nashville.  From these they will form two trainsets to operate the three trains inbound morning and outbound evening service.  For backup power, they bought a used locomotive from the N&E and are working on an agreement with the Tennessee Central Railroad Museum to use their locomotive in case of emergency, as it requires both of their ex-Amtrak diesels to run the schedule.  If you go to their web site and pull up the “update” for September 2004 or November 2004, they both have pictures of the coaches and engines.
 
They are doing considerable work on the railroad to upgrade it for the passenger service.  At this point they are planning to have a 59 mph speed limit, based on the current unsignaled condition, but signals are going to be installed as they found that it would cost little more than whatever system they were planning to install signals.  There are a couple of line changes being made, as well.  The track is getting significant upgrading, but it is being done based on good economics as understood by experienced railroaders.  That is, there is a fix what is worn and broke instead of a tear it all out make everything new mentality.  
 
Track charts are available on their web site, and are very interesting (at least to me) to study.  The line is quite hilly and curvy.  Most of the curves are 3 to 4 degrees, but with some are up to 6 degrees.  It appears that at lest two line changes are being done in addition to the track upgrades.  
 
The track charts outline the existing track conditions and the improvements being done.  They are going to install about 16 track-miles of new continuous welded 136 RE rail, about half of which has been strung out along the track.  Ties will continue to be wood, with good ties allowed to remain, so they are installing between 500 and 1000 new ties per mile.  
 
Since the Tennessee Central was never a prosperous or heavily traveled or high speed railroad and it has been operated as a light density branch for the last 40 years, there is quite a mix of rail in track, much of which is likely quite old, though the track charts did not show rolling or installation dates.  For the edification of any other track oriented nut like myself, the sections found on the track charts are:
 
80 ASCE
90 ARA-A
90 ARA-B  (Probably put in during L&N period 1968 to 1980+/-, it was their standard in the teens)
90 RE (listed, but an error. No such section, probably ARA-B section, as some was marked as RB, which with rusting could look like RE)
100 ARA-A (I somewhat doubt this, as it is mainly used in Canada)
100 ARA-B
100 RE
110 RE (likely pre mid 1930’s rolling dates)
112 RE (likely mid 1930’s to 1946 rolling dates)
115 RE
119 RE (just a little)
131 RE (likely mid 1930’s to 1946 rolling dates)
132 RE
136 RE (just a very little)
 
So they have 14 different rail sections in only 32 miles of main track.  There may even be others in the yard tracks.  The various 100 pound sections are most common, but there is about 5 miles in the 80 pound stuff.  The 130 plus stuff is mostly in and near road crossings or west of Donalson.  Even after the relay is done, there will still be quite a bit of 100 lb/yd rail left in the main, mostly 100 RE, but at least all the really light and old stuff will be gone.  
 
Now, for an overview of the system in total:
 
The proposed five lines are:
 
to Lebanon, 32 miles, Nashville and Eastern (former Tennessee Central), parallel to I40 east – already discussed at length
to Murfreesboro, 31 miles (former NC&StL to Chattanooga), parallel to I24 southeast
to Franklin, 20 miles, (original L&N to Birmingham) parallel to I65 south
to Kingston Springs 24 miles (former NC&StL to Memphis), parallel to I40 west
to Gallatin, 28 miles (former L&N to Louisville KY), parallel to I40/US31E north
 
Of these lines, all are now CSX except the N&E.  
 
The status of the lines so far as I know it.  
 
1.  The N&E line requires significant work to be operable at reasonable speeds, but existing freight traffic is fairly light.  The required work is under way as discussed above.  
 
2.  The Murfreesboro line is single track CTC with a 70 mph speed limit, but is heavily trafficked with freight, and any agreement with CSX to run passenger trains is unlikely without a significant investment in additional tracks.  I would suspect that full double tracking should be done.
 
3.  The same is true for the Gallatin line, except the speed limit is 60 mph.  Unlike the Murfreesboro line, this route has lots of curves resulting in speed limits being 50 mph or less in this area.  Double track begins at Montfort, about 2.3 miles north of Amqui which is where the former L&N line to Evansville IN and its considerable volume of freight joins this line. After another 4.0 miles, most freight traffic leaves this line to take the freight bypass to Radnor Yard.
 
4.  The Franklin line is double track from downtown Nashville to Brentwood, 10 miles, which is where the 1912 built Lewisburg cutoff starts.  Beyond that it is unsignaled single track.  This is the 1850’s built Nashville and Decatur, and I think has a 40 mph speed limit.  Traffic used to be somewhat medium but I have no idea of what it is now.  CSX ownership now ends at Columbia TN.  South of Pulaski TN, the line is out of service, if not abandoned. Given that Brentwood is the south end of Radnor Yard, I would not be surprised if CSX requested a third track though this area before considering commuter service.  
 
5.  The Kingston Springs line is a medium density single track line, fairly curvey, signaled and having a 50 mph speed limit.  This line was the start of the NC&St.L line to Memphis, but it has been abandoned west of Bruceton TN.  Memphis is now reached by continuing west of Bruceton on the former Union City TN branch to McKenzie TN where it is connected to the original L&N Memphis Line.  This L&N line has also been mostly abandoned north of McKenzie.  Since this line is in very good condition (the last time I looked) it might be the cheapest to implement, but CSX might want at least one additional passing siding since the route is rather skimpy in this department.  It also probably has the least passenger potential.  


« Last Edit: Aug 24th, 2005, 4:11am by George_Harris » Logged
Mark_Foster
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #1 on: Dec 18th, 2004, 7:51pm »
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Hi George,
 
I had no idea that rail commuter service was in the cards for Nashville. Having ridden trains on all the lines you mention except the TC, it's fascinating to think that passengers will again be riding on rails that were once polished by the likes of the South Wind, Pan American, Humming Bird, Dixie Flagler, Georgian and City of Memphis.
 
Old US 41 used to wind through downtown Nashville and past the TC staion on the banks of the Cumberland River. I remember seeing on several occasions a tuscan red brass railed observation car that was either a TC private car or a parlor car on their eastbound evening train. I guess this is close to the location of the proposed downtown commuter terminal.
 
Mark


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George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #2 on: Dec 20th, 2004, 1:15am »
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Mark:
 
Correct for location of station for Lebanon to Nashville commuter.  Yes, a wonderful list of train names.  In fact, the first train I ever rode, at age of 4 so we were still free, which would make it 1949, was the City of Memphis between Memphis and Jackson, Tennessee.  Do not remember very much about it except getting a cinder in my eye when my father held me at the open dutch door, watching the step fold up after we got off at Aulon, and that after that all my doodlings of steam engines were 4-8-4's.  Later, in the early 60's, I got to be on the Pan, the Bird, and the night trains to Memphis and Atlanta.  Never rode the Georgian, and the Dixie Flagler was gone by then.
 
George


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George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #3 on: Feb 17th, 2005, 6:32am »
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The more I see of this project, the more sensible everyone involved looks like they are being.  The line included three line changes which were designed by a Nashville area firm, Crouch Engineering, instead of picking one of the "Internationally Renowned" few.  Probably saved quite a few bucks in the construction cost by the design being done by a local.  
 
"Crouch Engineering has completed the design of three major line changes involving grade separations on the Nashville & Eastern Railroad. The projects included a new 1,400' long pre-stressed concrete bridge over Briley Parkway (6,000' line change); a new steel through plate ballast deck bridge over US Highway 70 (7,000' line change); and an underpass under SR 109 with overpass on Quarry Road (8,000' line change).  The projects were all funded by the Tennessee DOT, and were designed using design speeds of 80 mph for passenger traffic."
 
These line changes are all now under construction, and well under way.  
 
The latest "progress to date report, "As of 1/25/05, $4,197,927 (29.5%) worth of work has been completed of the currently $14,241,523 that has been obligated"
 
This money may not even include the three line changes, as this is from the Regional Transportation Authority's budget, not TennDOT,  This probably represents track and station work.  
 
All in all, sounds like things are going fairly well toward the October this year opening date.
 
George


« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2005, 6:42am by George_Harris » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #4 on: Apr 15th, 2005, 4:46am »
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Work continues at a fairly rapid pace.  Information in the latest progress bulletin tells us that they have about 5.1 miles of the 136RE rail installed and another about 5 miles strung out.  Work on some of the first of the bridge projects is nearing completion.  Also:
 
"As of 3/25/05, $8,107,892 (52%) worth of work has been completed of the currently $15,507,927 that has been obligated."  
 
Their major possible difficulty is getting about $6,000,000 out of Uncle Sugar that has been promised but not granted.  Without that there will be some things not finished.  


« Last Edit: Apr 15th, 2005, 5:12am by George_Harris » Logged
MikeF

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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #5 on: Apr 23rd, 2005, 1:53pm »
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Thanks for the updates!
 
Are they still on schedule to begin service Oct. 21? I couldn't find anything on their Web site stating such.
 
Also, how accessible is the N&E yard where the equipment is being stored? I'm thinking about making a trip down to the Music City to survey the progress and photograph the equipment.


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George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #6 on: Apr 27th, 2005, 5:21am »
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Mike:
 
Just went to
 
www.rta-ride.org/services/rail/minutes
 
and found that the Oversight Committee minutes of April 12, 2005 have now been put up on the web.  It answers your question.  There has been a slight delay.  At this time, the proposed first day of service is November 7, 2005.  
 
The full paragraph reads:
 
OPENING DAY UPDATE - Bill Farquhar
Mr. Bill Farquhar briefed the committee on the status and schedule for opening day service.  Track and signal construction is scheduled for substantial completion at the end of October, 2005.  The stations, with the exception of Riverfront, will be substantially complete at the end of October as well.  The projected date for an Opening Day Ceremony is November 4, 2005 during the Tennessee Public Transportation Association (TPTA) conference.  A special train with officials will be scheduled for that weekend.  Mr. Farquhar made mention that giving away free rides can cause problems because this can overwhelm the system and leave the customers with a bad impression.  Commuter service will begin on Monday, November 7, 2005.  Depending upon the signal system, there may be only two trips to begin instead of the three.  If the signal system is fully functional, three trips will be completed.  < end quote.
 
For your other question:  I have no idea about the accesibility of the yard.  The railroad does not follow the highway closely for any part of its route.  Even though as a born Tennessean I am following this project with interest, I have never lived in Nashville, and have only been there a couple of times in the last few years to visity some of my elderly relative that live on the outskirts.  I last was there regularly as a college student in Cookeville TN in 1968 and would go through it on my way home, or to it if there was some need for the big city.  But then the travel method was Trailways.  
 
George


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George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #7 on: May 11th, 2005, 6:36am »
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Usually their web site puts up an agenda for each board meeting, but I seldom open them.  Two days ago I opened the one of the May 10th meeting andi it had a several interesting bits of information, including a progress report which contained such things as:
"89,000 LF of continuous welded rail has been laid to date."  (That is 8.42 miles of track.)
"Work continued on the installation of train signals up to MP 20."
 
"As of 4/25/05, $9,456,763 (60%) worth of work has been completed of the currently $15,857,879 that has been obligated."    
 
It also had a couple of pages of discussion about the FRA's inspections and potential regulatory problems.  It appears that the FRA is unhappy, but it is not altogether clear why.  The railroad did have one accident involving their train and a contractor's work train.  
 
It appears somewhat as if the FRA may be looking for an excuse to throw a wrench in the whole thing.  Quoting in part,  "FRA expressed concerns regarding the operating practices and safety culture of the Nashville and Eastern Railroad (NERC). . . . FRA has noted over 1200 deficiencies, mostly involving record keeping and track conditions.  FRA has moved 40 of these deficiencies up to recommendations for civil penalties.  It was further stated if the NERC does not meet all the compliance issues prior to start of commuter rail service, enforcement measures will be filed and they will prevent the service from starting."  
 
I can't say anything about the "safety culture"  other than I consider that calling a cat a tiger, as the Chinese say.  There is American culture, Southern culture, Western culture, Chinese culture, but safety culture?  You can have safe working habits, safety procedures, but culture?  There is a word for this sort of overblown terminology.  Ostentation is close but there should be a better one.  Given that the railroad has been for about 40 years a one train a day 25 mph or less freight only railroad, they could be more relaxed about a lot of things than you can with a 60 mph multi-train passenger service so there probably is a need to change habits.  
 
According to the NERC people, most of these 1200 deficiencies were track related.  Considering that the Nashville RTA is doing a major upgrade of the whole 32 miles of railroad to be used by the service, to make issue of track deficiencies at this time seems nit picking.  
 
I also know that the Fed's obsession with all kinds of forms and paperwork done in their own way can drive a lot of small and not so small businesses to distraction.
 
George


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George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #8 on: Jun 12th, 2005, 12:46pm »
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on Apr 23rd, 2005, 1:53pm, MikeF wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Are they still on schedule to begin service Oct. 21? I couldn't find anything on their Web site stating such.

It appears that the opening date is slipping.  The latest oversight committee report, as of May 24, says the start of service will be most likely in the "latter part of January."  The Agenda for the June 14 meeting says, "it is the Staff's recommendation to revise the Revenue Operations Date (ROD) to a late January to mid February 2006 date.  The exact date will be determined in the summer or early fall when the construction projects are closer to completion.  The first "official train" will be operated in conjunction with the TPTA conference.  Selected training runs will be open to the public starting in late November or early December of 2005."  (The TPTA conference is in November 2005.)  
 
They are also beginning to run into some funding issues but are determined to hold costs.
 
George


« Last Edit: Jun 12th, 2005, 12:54pm by George_Harris » Logged
Mark_Foster
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #9 on: Jun 13th, 2005, 12:10am »
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Saw recently where Nashville had purchased several surplus Metra bi-level cars for $1.00, yes one dollar, apiece. These cars originally ran in suburban Chicago service on either  the Burlington or the C&NW. As I understand it Metra was looking at a cost of about $25,000 apiece to scrap these cars so they were happy to get someone to take them off their hands. I believe that the Albuquerque, NM commuter project purchased the balance of the surplus Metra's. Even allowing for the cost of refurbrishment, Nashville, should have saved a bunch of money over the cost of new cars.

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MikeF

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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #10 on: Jun 15th, 2005, 10:52pm »
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The $1 Metra (ex-C&NW) cars have been sold to several commuter operations, including Virginia Rail Express, MARC, and the startup in Nashville. The Utah Transit Authority, which is developing a commuter line in Salt Lake City, received 30 of the cars for free.  
 
A number of Metra's ex-CB&Q bilevels, on the other hand, were sold for $100,000 apiece to a leasing company. Obviously there's a big difference in value between the heavily-built stainless steel Burlington "battleships" and the less durable carbon steel North Western cars.


« Last Edit: Jun 15th, 2005, 11:02pm by MikeF » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #11 on: Jun 17th, 2005, 2:43am »
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on Jun 15th, 2005, 10:52pm, MikeF wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Obviously there's a big difference in value between the heavily-built stainless steel Burlington "battleships" and the less durable carbon steel North Western cars.

Not necessarily.  The CB&Q cars were bought with CB&Q money.  In other words, no federal fuinding.  The cars bing sold around the country for $1.00 each were bought with assistance of federal funds.  Forgot where I saw it, but somewhere I saw the statement that federal regulations prevented agencies buying equipment with the assistance of federal grants from sell it to other systems that were receiving federal grants.  They had to either give it away or charge the nominal amount necessary for transfer of ownership, hence the $1.00 price tag.  
 
Any correction or confirmation and source of the above would be appreciated.
 
George


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MikeF

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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #12 on: Jun 17th, 2005, 4:54pm »
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on Jun 17th, 2005, 2:43am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The CB&Q cars were bought with CB&Q money.  In other words, no federal fuinding.  The cars bing sold around the country for $1.00 each were bought with assistance of federal funds.

The cars being sold for $1 were purchased with C&NW money, not federal funds.
 
Quote:
Forgot where I saw it, but somewhere I saw the statement that federal regulations prevented agencies buying equipment with the assistance of federal grants from sell it to other systems that were receiving federal grants.  They had to either give it away or charge the nominal amount necessary for transfer of ownership, hence the $1.00 price tag.

You're close. Although they weren't purchased with government funds, both the ex-C&NW and the ex-CB&Q/ex-BN cars were rebuilt over the years using federal money. I'll quote a May 22 Daily Herald article for an explanation of the $1 sale agreement:
 
[In 2002] Metra began phasing out 219 of its oldest cars [the ex-C&NW cars], some of which dated from the 1950s and ’60s, but found no takers. The alternative, officials said, was either to scrap them or to give them away. ...
 
“What’s no longer useful to Metra is certainly useful to a smaller organization,” spokesman Dan Schnolis said. “These cars did have some serviceable, usable life left, and our agreement with the FTA (Federal Transit Administration) is that if they have some life left in them, then the cars can be given to another railroad.”
 
FTA spokesman Paul Griffo said even though that’s true, Metra could have disposed of the cars as it saw fit. But when a transit agency agrees to transfer cars to another agency, and those cars were either bought or refurbished with federal funds, then the transfer price must be free, Griffo added.
 
Metra officials said the sale let them avoid an estimated $25,000-per-car scrapping cost.
 
Because the cars were built from older carbon steel alloys that no longer have much market value, “we would have had to pay a scrapper to take them,” Schnolis said.

 
So, although Metra was free to sell the ex-C&NW cars just as they sold the ex-CB&Q and ex-BN cars, the low market value of the carbon-steel cars made such a sale impossible. That is why they are being transferred to other agencies. Hope this helps explain the arrangement.


« Last Edit: Jun 17th, 2005, 5:00pm by MikeF » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #13 on: Jun 20th, 2005, 4:49am »
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Helps if I read more carefully:  
 
CB&Q cars "sold for $100,000 to a leasing company . .  "  
 
C&NW cars "sold for $1.00 to transit agencies . . "
 
Therefore the difference was not so much the car as the customer, othere than the fact that the outside companies had to interested in the ex-C&NW cars.  
 
The problem of course with the various carbon steel cars is RUST.  They rust and the stainless steel does not.  I would suspect in Chicago, a lot of rust around the doorways due to salt tracked in and maybe also from salty slush flung up against the undersides as they went over road crossings.  
 
Nashville has snow and salts roads, but nothing like Chicago, so they may be thinking that they can keep the rusting from progressing much further.  Plus, of course there is the possibility that they realize that they are having to spend so much on track that if they were to buy new cars the additional cost would sink the whole thing.  If these things will last a few years, and the demand takes off, then they can think about buying new cars.  If not, then the loss is not so great, and the track investment is not really lost, as the railroad will still be there in state ownership for freight usage, and most of the trackwork would have to have been done in the reasonably near future to keep it as a viable freight line.  
 
George


« Last Edit: Jun 24th, 2005, 12:04am by George_Harris » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #14 on: Jun 24th, 2005, 12:32am »
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From the Agenda for the June 14, 2005 Oversight Committee meeting:  (Minutes of meeting not yet on-line)
 
"As of 5/25/05, $11,285,460 (66%) worth of work has been completed of the currently $17,177,233 that has been obligated."
 
Significant bullet points on progress:
 
93,000LF of CWR has been laid to date  (8.81 track-miles)
Dry fork Creek bridge replacement completed  (at milepost 11.3)
All Phase I & II ties have been installed
"Work continued on the installation of the train and crossing signals up to M.P.27"
NTP (notice to proceed) given on Donelson, Hermitage and Mt. Juliet stations given on June 3, 2005.
Bids opened for Riverfront Station (downtown Nashville)
 
So, the work marches on.  Their main problem at this point appears to be obtaining the funding, about $6 million, needed to finish.  Given the overall condition of the existing railroad, they are getting A LOT of bang for their buck.  
 
George


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james_greenwood
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #15 on: Jul 6th, 2005, 5:27pm »
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The operator of the Nashville Star will be the Nashville and Eastern. I'm surprised it's not one of the more well known, transit experienced companies, i.e. Connex, Herzog, etc.

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George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #16 on: Jul 7th, 2005, 12:36am »
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on Jul 6th, 2005, 5:27pm, james_greenwood wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The operator of the Nashville Star will be the Nashville and Eastern. I'm surprised it's not one of the more well known, transit experienced companies, i.e. Connex, Herzog, etc.

The RTA probably feels that Herzog et al have nothing the RTA needs to bring to the table.  Remember, N&E is the operator of the railroad on which this service will be run.  And, there was a dinner train operated on this line for a number of years so the N&E does have recent passenger operating experience.  The N&E would almost certainly have a lower overhead expense than anyone else.  It also appears that everything is being kept in local hands to the greatest extent practical, which is probably saving them a bundle of money in development costs.  
 
As of this time, the minutes of the June 12 Oversight Comittee meeting have not yet been posted on their web site.  
 
George


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james_greenwood
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #17 on: Jul 7th, 2005, 9:15am »
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Thanks for the information Mr. Harris.

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George_Harris
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Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #18 on: Aug 8th, 2005, 12:39am »
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A statement that might help clarify the relationship between the RTA and the railroad:  This statement is in a July 19, 2005 memo from Bill Farquhar to the RTA commuter rail oversight comittee members.
 
"The RTA has access to the tracks owned by the Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority (NERA) and operated via contract by the Nashville and Eastern Railroad (NERC) through a Memorandum of Agreement between the three parties that was signed on May 7, 2003.”
(RTA is Regional Transportation Authority)
 
The subject of this memo is an offer by the NERC to defer collection of part of the train-mile fees it will be due when operations begin.  Talk about a cooperative host railroad!
 
 
Significant points given in the July 2005 Monthly Progress Update
 
107,000LF of CWR has been laid to date  (10.13 track-miles)  
"Work continued on the installation of the train and crossing signals up to M.P.27"  
Groundbreaking ceremonies held for Donelson, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, and Lebanon stations.
Stoners Creek and Mill Creek bridge rehabs complete
Donelson passing siding complete
 
No update of the financial completion was given beyond the 5/25/05 information already given.
 
They appear to be fast approaching the end of the funds available and need badly the $6.2 million promised appropriation to complete.  Is this amount in the Transportation bill just passed?-
 
July report can be found at www.rta-ride.org/pdf/railupdate0705.pdf
 
George


« Last Edit: Aug 8th, 2005, 1:54am by George_Harris » Logged
George_Harris
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Posts: 3805
Re: Nashville Tennessee Commuter Line & System
 
« Reply #19 on: Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:05am »
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Rail in the line:
 
Most heavy traveled lines generally get their rail relaid in fairly long segments, with the short ones being when it is necessary to relay high wear area such as curves.  For lightly traveled lines, frequently the rail in track tends to be whatever the people maintaining the tracks can get there hands on.  This has been the story of the Nashville and Eastern and predecessor Tennessee Central.  During L&N ownership, the line still, and maybe even moreso tended to get rails regarded as too far gone for more important tracks, but they were probably a lot better that what was in there from the TC.  For this reason, one of the major items for the commuter line start up was new rail, so that at start up over half the track will be in new 136 RE rail.  
 
But, before this project started, there were 14 different sections of rail in this 31.3 miles of track.  For those not interested you can skip reading this but from the track charts in the information on the railroad in the rta-ride web site, this is what they had.  Take all the numbers as having a little more or less factor in them, because this is by scale and eyeball from the dividing lines between rail types on the track charts:
 
rail weight     track    
and section   miles    %
  80 ASCE 5.61     17.9
  85 ASCE 0.14  0.45
  90 RA     0.12  0.38
  90 RB     0.20  0.64
100 RA     0.25  0.80
100 RB     5.05     16.1
100 RE   11.10     35.5
110 RE     2.09  6.7
112 RE     0.01  0.03
115 RE     5.32     17.0
119 RE     0.05  0.16
131 RE     0.65  2.08
132 RE     0.68  2.17
136 RE     0.02  0.06
TOTAL    31.29    100.0
 
After the project is complete, based again on the locations of the new rail shown in the track charts, the rail in track will be:
 
rail weight     track    
and section   miles    %
100 RB     0.47  1.5
100 RE     5.58     17.8
110 RE     1.69  5.4
115 RE     3.40     10.9
119 RE     0.05  0.16
131 RE     0.65  2.08
132 RE     0.52  1.66
136 RE   18.93     60.5
TOTAL    31.29    100.0
 
It appears that one of the objectives had to have been get rid of all rail under 100 lb/yd.  The number of different rail sections got reduced from 14 to 8, and the variation in base widths, meaning the number of different tie plate types, reduced from 7 to 4, maybe 3 if a single shoulder plate with double punching is used under the two different 100 lb/yd sections.  (110, 115, 119 all have 5 1/2 inch width bases and 131, 132, 136 all have 6 inch width bases.)  Plus most of these lighter rails were likely to be over 60 years old.  for that matter, some of the 100 RE may be over 60 years old, and the 110 RE shape was dropped from the AREA in 1935, but it continued to be produced in small quantities for at least another 30 years.


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