Amtrak wants to connect Nashville to Atlanta

Story courtesy of Cameron Taylor

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Getting from Nashville to Atlanta could become less of a headache.

Amtrak wants to start a route between the two cities. The stops would Nashville International Airport, Murfreesboro, Tullahoma and Chattanooga.

Company representatives estimate it would take about 6.5 hours to get from Nashville to Atlanta.

Currently the only train service stations Amtrak offers in Tennessee are in Memphis and Newbern, both in western Tennessee.

Clyde Vincent uses the Music City Star on most days to commute from Lebanon from Nashville, a distance of just 32 miles.

“It saves me wear and tear. I don’t have to sit in traffic,” Vincent said while waiting for the Music City Star on Wednesday.

He knows how frustrating the drive can be from Nashville to Atlanta.

“Most of the time I try to travel to Atlanta in the late night when there’s not a lot of traffic,” Vincent said.

State Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville, is filing a bill to study the idea. He wants to look at infrastructure, the cost and whether it’s feasible.

“We might be a perfect storm where Amtrak is interested. The state of Tennessee is interested,” said Powell.

Powell said it won’t solve day-to-day traffic problems, but it’s a great first step for a regional transit plan.

“It will help get more people comfortable with rail travel and mass transit,” Powell said.

For Vincent, he’s on board with the proposal and hopes it becomes a reality.

“Personally, I think they should go with more mass transit around this area,” Vincent said.

The plan is in its early stages. There’s a long way to go before upfront costs and the price of a ticket are finalized.

Amtrak will also need to work with CSX, which owns the railroad tracks, to make it work.

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