City Explores bringing rail back to Chattanooga

People packed the Imperial Ballroom at the Choo Choo Thursday night, not to talk about the 160 year tradition of passenger rail in the Scenic City but to talk about the feasibility of bringing passenger rail back to Chattanooga…

Blythe Bailey CDOT Administrator said “We are a rail town. Historically, we have a lot of rail here.”

Peter Haliburton Project Manager said “It returns passenger rail to a city that has a long and colorful rail history.”

This is the 3rd public meeting to discuss the potential of the new transit system, and so far there has been plenty of community support for the project, but now is not time for that support to fade.

Blythe Bailey said “We gotta really dig in and make sure that this is practical, and it is going to take the kind of enthusiasm and positive input that we have gotten to continue.”

Even with all of the community support, this is a huge project. One that won’t be completed for a number of years.

Peter Haliburton said “So we are talking about maybe 10 years or so in the future. Perhaps sooner than that if we can get the funding aligned.”

This project would cost anywhere from 75 to 80 million dollars to complete.

Blythe Bailey said “We would need to get funding from other places, and that is why it takes awhile.”

CDOT will spend the next several months evaluating input from attendees at tonight’s meeting to try and find the best balance of cost and expected ridership.

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News

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