Lexington – Louisville Commuter Train dead?

July 25, 2011
By

The board of the Kentucky Capital Development Corporation voted to remove its director, Ralph Tharp, for undisclosed reasons last week.

Tharp was the man behind the recent push to construct a commuter rail line running between Lexington and Louisville.

The idea always seemed like a long shot, but worth exploring. The question now is whether the Train dies with Tharp’s exit or if in his short time in the Bluegrass State he inspired some state leaders and others to continue trying to figure it out.

7 Responses to Lexington – Louisville Commuter Train dead?

  1. Don Pratt on July 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    While the idea is novel or cutesy, the cost is almost ridiculous.
    Not if the commuter was actually taking huge numbers of people but MORE IMPORTANTLY if there wasn’t a MUCH cheaper source and AVAILABLE SOON OR NOW!
    Truth is, if we can provide a bus service which could almost be done immediately (fancy and much more comfortable spacing WITHIN).
    We’d find that the infrastructure for services are already here, and there, and NO where near as costly.
    And, a fancy bus could stop in many more places in Louisville and Lexington, and other cities, as well!
    I will stand up for BETTER train service between major cities NOW (and cheaper to increase ridership) yet the national push of many train routes into hiking and biking trails has eliminated a source of route supply for access to many center cities.
    And, the la de da “intelligentsia” in power still takes extremely wasteful airplanes instead of demanding better trains, using current trains or even carpooling ideas for more people, including themselves.
    Note: there is an environmental activist in Louisville who has done presentations on rail usage advocating MUCH GREATER usage of freight rail usage immediately. The energy savings he points out is phenomenal.
    The issue of employment for truckers should be solved, and protection of many of their investing to provide vehicles and their own livelihoods. We need a national share the work push and that may mean 30 hour work weeks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. L on July 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Not a surprise. Tharp was a con-man. He continually revised his story depending on who he was talking to, most notably on whether or not he’d secured the cooperation of CSX and Corman, and on the upgrades to public transportation infrastructure that would have been needed at both ends of the line.

    Commuter rail between Lex and Lou would be a wonderful thing. But Tharp’s plan was not possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. The Lexington Streetsweeper on July 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    The idea of commuter rail from Winchester to Louisville ( the original proposal) was to be “high speed” and was quickly identified to be impractical on the existing rail line. Even the stops indicated would not work in real life. This is not to say that any idea of commuter rail between our two cities is impossible, but it will take much more thought than Tharp gave it.

    Don’s call for a “fancy bus service” would suffice in the short run but real commuter service will take light rail (high speed or not). Freight rail and passenger service should not, and probably will not, be maintained on the same lines i much the same way that I feel cars and big trucks should not use the same Interstate highways.

    Mr Tharp will not be missed in Frankfort and soon they can get back to being their small backwater which plays host to the legislators every once in a while.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. OutsideObserver on July 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Boo!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. The Lexington Streetsweeper on July 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    It is also sad to note that the real brains behind the proposal, Charlie Schimpeler, passed away earlier in the month. Any hope of a quick solution to the regional rail problem is greatly diminished.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Scott Clark on August 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Does the political bump for the new BEAM/cooperation program make regional rail more attractive for an ambitious new champion? Or does BEAM’s emphasis on manufacturing (typically not urban) mean we really don’t have a lot of synergy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  7. L on August 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Put your buzz words down for a second Scott and realize that light rail, while a wonderful idea, is not going to be possible given the current tracks and contractual realities with the freight companies that use them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SUPPORT THE YONDER

Archives

Search

Social Networking Crap

Shop at the Barefoot and Progressive Store!

Free Ad Space

Help support B&P! DONATE!

Free Ad Space

Share Barefoot & progressive