Jumping on the Louisville-Frankfort Train Idea

If you bring up the future of transportation around here, most people focus on the silly Ohio River Bridges project. Wanna-be visionaries will tell you that light rail is a must-do for the city. But no one in recent times has talked about train travel within the state. Until now.

A story in the Frankfort paper details plans for a $75 million project that would make it possible to ride a train from here to Frankfort and Lexington for $6 or less.  Ralph Tharp is Frankfort’s “industrial recruiter” and believes the project, using existing rail lines, could be completed by 2012.

He must be new. Because he doesn’t realize nothing gets done in Kentucky in 2 years. But the idea has merit. Think of all the people who commute to Frankfort every day, from both Louisville and Lexington.

The plan calls for diesel-powered commuter trains that go 90 mph. There would be 11 stops, with one at the Louisville airport, and it would take about the same amount of time to get to Frankfort as it does now in your car — with no concerns about traffic and car trouble.

Tharp, whose plan is to pay for it with federal money, and the state might not even have to pay for it. But the window of opportunity for funding is just two years.

They’ve even got a catchy name — Thoroughbred Rail Express — and a plan to name the actual cars after Secretariat and Northern Dancer.

The plan makes sense — economically and environmentally, because it would reduce vehicle traffic and our carbon footprint.

What do you think?

4 Comments on "Jumping on the Louisville-Frankfort Train Idea"

  1. An entirely excellent and reasonable idea, of course, but one not likely to be implemented in Kentucky, for Twain’s famous reason. Planners here still think we’ll be driving ever-greater numbers of gasoline-powered personal vehicles running on rubber tires over asphalt for the indefinite future or at least for the lifetime of those bridges. After all, they have to keep those asphalt contributors happy.
    Having grown up riding trains regularly, I would be thrilled to see some decent passenger service from Louisville to anywhere.

  2. Imagine the distillery tour bus waiting to meet you at the Versailles station. Or roll your bike on the train for local transportation while you’re in Frankfort or Lexington for the weekend. Rent a Zip Car online and have it waiting at the station when you arrive. The possibilities are endless when you make it possible for people to move safely, quickly and comfortably. This is an idea whose time has come – so why should it take more than a year to implement?

  3. Never would have thunk I would find this so idnispenaslbe.

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