Tag Archives: commuter rail

Cincinnati (and Valdosta) Streetcars

Here's another form of transit that could nicely complement busses and commuter rail: streetcars. The New York Times mentions several cities that have reimplemented streetcar systems. Pictured here is a potential plan for yet another city: Austin, Texas:


As a Cincinnati streetcar proponent says:

“We have to plan for the future,” he said. “I believe in 10 years, we would ask, ‘Why didn’t we do this?’ It will be 10 times more expensive, and the cost of gas will be unaffordable.”

Downtowns Across the U.S. See Streetcars in Their Future, By BOB DRIEHAUS, New York Times, Published: August 13, 2008

Valdosta likes to be visible nationally (TitleTown), so think about this:
After looking into streetcar systems in Seattle, Tacoma, Wash., and Charlotte, Mr. Dohoney became convinced that they spur growth. “Cincinnati has to compete with other cities for investment,” he said. “We have to compete for talent and for place of national prominence.”
Yet that could be growth without sprawl:
[streetcars] serve to shrink residents’ everyday world of work, shopping and entertainment by bringing services and businesses to one area.
That's a feature attractive not only to city dwellers, but also to us plowboys out here in the country who like to go to the city but don't want the city coming to us. Valdosta used to have a streetcar system. I don't remember it in use, but I do remember seeing remnants of its rails in a few streets. Streetcars would probably be more expensive to implement than commuter rail, because tracks would have to be laid and automobile traffic would have to be organized around it. Commuter rail using existing freight tracks would be easier to do first. But now while Valdosta is planning ahead would be a good time to see about fitting streetcars into the plan.

Central Florida Commuter Rail

DMU Exterior View Meanwhile, four hours to the south, Central Florida Commuter Rail Sunrail has received planning commission approval to start a commuter rail line centered on Orlando:
Existing CSXT railroad tracks are utilized for the planned route. CRT trains consist of 1-3 cars and can carry up to 218 passengers. Maximum operating speed is generally between 65-79 mph.
Hm, using existing CSX tracks, just like the GS&F (now CSX) route from Hahira through Mineola, Remerton, Valdosta, Dasher, and Lake Park.