Mystery Train

February 6, 2008

I’ve always liked trains. The first one I ever rode was Tweetsie, a steam powered narrow gauge tourist attraction near Blowing Rock, North Carolina. My work on the East Coast gave me the opportunity to ride Amtrak and Metro North lines, and I’ve also ridden trains in Europe. I think that rail travel offers great potential in America to save fuel, reduce traffic, and create a wonderful travel experience.

Tennessee’s main cities are close enough to seriously consider trains. A Nashville/Chattanooga/Atlanta train could attract all kinds of passengers, and going by rail from Nashville to Memphis would transform one of the more boring drives in the state into a pleasant experience. Right now, there’s only one Amtrak train that comes through Tennessee: the City of New Orleans, which goes from Chicago to New Orleans. It stops in Memphis and Newbern, Tennessee.

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The siren song of small towns

February 6, 2008

Have you ever gone to a small town for a weekend getaway and thought about moving there? If you’re coming from a large city, some things look instantly appealing: lower house prices, relatively little traffic, and plenty of what seem like friendly folks. You think about how your life would change, how things would be better, and how you would be better if you just had the guts to move.

I’ve had these pulls for a long time. When I was a child and The Andy Griffith Show was on prime time, I dug out a map of North Carolina and tried to find Mayberry. In Tennessee, at a much later age and at various times, I’ve thought about moving to Greeneville, Leipers Fork, Cumberland Gap, and Sewanee.

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