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Multimodal Transportation Resources - Office of Freight and Rail

James K. Polk Building, Suite 1800
Nashville, TN 37243
phone (615) 741-1341 or (615) 741-2781
fax (615) 253-1482

The Tennessee Department of Transportation through its Office of Freight & Rail provides grants for track and bridge rehabilitation for Shortline Railroad Authorities who have applied for and have been accepted into the Shortline Railroad program. Funds are used for rail and track structure improvements, and to fund engineering services to do consulting services for the authorities.

The Office of Freight & Rail also has funding available for assistance in waterway studies. This is because the State of Tennessee is centrally located in the nation’s inland waterway system. With more than 1,062 navigable waterway miles, the waterways of Tennessee connects terminals on the Tennessee, Cumberland and Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries with river ports in 21 states and ocean ports in Houston, Texas; New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL.

The Office of Freight & Rail, Waterways Section’s primary objectives are to increase the use of water transportation and to improve regional and national economic conditions by increasing utilization of cost-effective, fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly waterway transportation.

The Office of Freight & Rail is also involved in the study of Freight Transportation throughout the State of Tennessee. In all modes, freight transportation has experienced tremendous growth and radical changes over the past two decades and the future promises more of the same. This growth and change has occurred within physical systems including highways, rail lines, ports, waterways and airports. As a consequence TDOT and in regional/corridor combinations are devoting increasing effort to understanding and dealing with freight transportation issues.


For a complete listing of Tennessee Shortline Railroads click here.

High Speed Ground Transportation Chattanooga to Nashville Feasibility Study  (PDF large file 200 MB)


The Rail Freight oversees:

  • Shortline railroad track rehabilitation
  • Shortline railroad bridge rehabilitation
  • Waterway assistance
  • Federal Railroad Administration – LRFA Grant Program
  • Freight Transportation

Useful Links:

bullet Tennessee Rail System Plan Public Involvement Presentation
bullet Track Needs Assessment
bullet 2003 Rail Plan


Rail Oversight Program