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History of the Kentucky-Indiana Rail Advocates


First Amtrak into Louisville

BOARD OF ALDERMEN

CITY OF LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY

40202-2730

BOARD OF ALDERMEN CITY OF LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY 40202-2730 MELISSA A MERSHON, BARBARA GREGG, TOM OWEN, CYRIL ALLGEIER, STEVE H MAGRE, JERRY KLEIER, BEVERLY 'Bebe MELTON, TOM DENNING, BILL WILSON, RHONDA K RICHARDSON, REGINALD MEEKS, PAUL C BATHER

December 31, 1991

This report focuses the work of numerous citizens over thirteen months. Their conclusion resounds: Louisvillians want access to colorful, efficient, and energy-wise transportation Commuter or light rail will help us meet our 1995 federal clean-air attainment goals. They will also relive congestion, build and sustain neighborhoods, and make jobs. We are grateful for the assistance and participation of all who helped. Our City of Louisville Rail Task Force report is a beginning of much more to come. We hope it will focus concern and spark action. Sincerely, Tom Owen Tom Denning Third Ward Alderman Eighth Ward Alderman Co-chairs, City of Louisville Rail Task Force EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Fifty years ago, Louisville was served by some 60 passenger trains, operated by eight different railroad companies. Today Louisville has no rail passenger service. In 1979, Amtrak's Floridian~ discontinued service through our city. Louisville is one of the top five largest US cities without Amtrak service. Louisville desperately needs a revival of modern rail intercity service, which will both increase mobility for metro citizens and pump vital funds into the area from increased tourist dollars and from construction and maintenance of the upgrading of rights-of-way, signaling and related rail facilities. Congestion of our highways; transportation needs of the elderly, handicapped and underprivileged; environmental concerns and the economic well-being of community demand that transportation issues always be on the agenda. FORMATION A resolution was passed by the Board of Aldermen of the City of Louisville on November 27, 1990 establishing a 19- member Railroad Study Task Force. During the calendar year of 1991, dozens of additional concerned citizens have joined that group to study, research, plan and dream for the future transportation needs of our community. This task force organized its work with the establishment of four subcommittees. The subcommittees and highlights of their recommendations are listed below: RECOMMENDATIONS INTERCITY RAIL 1. Chicago-Florida Train--Urge Amtrak to reconsider routing its proposed long- distance Chicago-Florida train through Louisville, via either Indianapolis or alternate routes through Southern Indiana. 2 2. Extend Indianapolis Train--Propose to Amtrak that it extend its daily "Hoosier State" Chicago~Indianapolis train to Louisville (Note: 11 and #2 are contingent upon upgrading Conrail's 109-mile freight-only Indianapolis- Louisville line and securing funds for that work). 3. Cincinnati Connection--Connect with Amtrak's Chicago-washington "Cardinal" train and recommend that it be rescheduled at more convenient hours through Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky (This train, which is triweekly now, is expected to go daily in 1993, when new passenger cars are received). 4. Other Connections~~Connect at Cincinnati with other conventional and high-speed passenger rail services now being planned between there, Columbus and Cleveland. 1. Light Rail System-~Develop a transportation system linking the Downtown area with vital points including the University of Louisville, Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Kentucky Kingdom, Standiford Field, proposed dome stadium, Southern Indiana and Churchill Downs. Such a system could provide rapid access to popular destinations, as well as enhance the City's position with regard to convention trade and decrease the demand for additional parking areas. 2. Environmental Concerns--Develop a method for promoting the City's existing transportation systems and future alternative methods. An emphasis must be placed on the education of the community with regard to utilizing TARC, car pooling, etc. The environment could be the most important issue with regard to developing alternative systems. 3. Surface Transportation Bill--Explore all possible funding available through this recently signed bill.(December 18, 1991) This $151 billion, 6-year bill provides monies tor mass transit planning and construction. 4. Preservation of Rail Potential for Waterfront and Downtown--This subcommittee and later the entire Task Force (August 28, 1991) adopted the following resolution which was presented to the Waterfront Development Corporation and other planning bodies: RESOLVED: That preservation of existing rail, bridges, and rail rights-of-way be considered in planning. Especially, that an East-West Riverfront right-of-way be designated for commuter rail, excursion train, or intercity passenger rail service. EXCURSION TRAIN Excursion Train Proposal--An excursion train and electric trolley should be operated along a three-mile waterfront route from the Louisville Wharf (near Kingfish and the Belvedere) to near the McAlpine Locks and Dam. RIGHTS-OF-WAY 1. Production of Map--This subcommittee has produced a map (See Figure 2) showing all existing active railroad track and its owners within Jefferson County. 2. Improved Communication--This subcommittee has discussed community concerns with officials from the four railroad compenies owning track in our community. They will continue these discussions The subcommittee members of the Railroad Study Task Force express their appreciation to Mayor Abramson, The Board of Aldermen and especially Aldermen Denning and Owen for their recognition of this important issue and their support in studying this topic. The subcommittees reguest continued assistance and support from the City as they explore transportation needs for our community's future.

4 3 BOARD OF ALDERMEN CITY OF LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY 40202-2730 BOARD OF ALDERMEN CITY OF LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY 40202-2730

MELISSA A MERSHON, BARBARA GREGG, TOM OWEN, CYRIL ALLGEIER, STEVE H MAGRE, JERRY KLEIER, BEVERLY 'Bebe MELTON, TOM DENNING, BILL WILSON, RHONDA K RICHARDSON, REGINALD MEEKS, PAUL C BATHER,

December 31, 1991


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