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Multimodal Transportation Resources – Office of Freight and Rail

James K. Polk Building, Suite 1800
Nashville, TN 37243
phone (615) 741.2781
fax (615) 253.1482

Rail Plan - Scope and Purpose

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has retained Arcadis, Geraghty & Miller, along with Don Breazeale & Associates, Younger Associates and Carter & Burgess to develop a comprehensive Rail Plan as a part of the State's transportation planning activities.

The State believes that the robust economic development in the state, the prospect of further growth, and potential increases in the population, are excellent reasons to re-examine the role of the railway system both for freight and passenger transportation in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Rail System Plan that will be developed in this process will provide policy, procedural, and system management guidance and assist TDOT in its efforts to re-define its role with regard to rail system projects.

Components Involved in this Work

  • Provide a Public Involvement Plan that includes (a) identifying and involving the stakeholders (b) securing factual input and data from the stakeholders (c) provide timely and adequate public notice through the TDOT Website and encourage the involvement of the TDOT Rail System Plan Advisory Committee to ensure public/private participation.
  • Develop an inventory of Tennessee's existing rail freight, passenger, and intermodal infrastructure and services.
  • Review the current TDOT Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation Program and make recommendations for improvements to the program.
  • Review the intercity rail passenger service, and make recommendations to the state that includes three to five candidate corridors for further consideration for development of intercity passenger rail service.
  • Document current freight movements and provide forecasts of those freight movements.
  • Identify intermodal facility capabilities and needs and recommend to the State the types of investments in infrastructure that the state should be involved in, and the policy or regulatory intervention the State might undertake to promote the most efficient and effective development of an intermodal transportation system.
  • Develop and then recommend to the State protocols and procedures for evaluating major rail freight and rail-related intermodal facility projects.
  • Evaluate specific infrastructure improvement proposals:
    • Knoxville--Memphis rail feasibility study funded by the U.S. Congress in the FY 2000 Transportation Appropriations Bill. This project will specifically address the re-establishment of rail freight infrastructure and service between Algood and Oliver Springs, Tennessee.
    • High-speed freight and passenger rail connection that will facilitate service between Knoxville and Memphis.
    • Regional rail bypass of Memphis.
  • Evaluate the possible rail impacts resulting from the permanent closure of the Chickamauga Lock on the Tennessee River.
  • Develop a description of Federal, State, and Local funding sources and evaluate funding capacity needed to make the improvements identified by the Rail System Plan.

2003 Rail Plan