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Memphis - Nashville by train

Old Aug 21st, 2004, 06:49 AM
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Memphis - Nashville by train

Spending time in New Orleans & Memphis in October. Wonder if it's worth trying to get to Nashville for the day. Is it too much to go by train in the morning see Nashville and be back in Memphis by evening ? Maybe I would be too rushed to see the sites in Nashville.
Is it too much of a Journey, how long by train and what costs. I am travelling a long way (from Scotland) So want too see as much as possible Thanks for any info
Tony
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 09:21 AM
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I hate to say it, but our train system over here is, well, not very complete.

I live in Memphis and as far as I know, you "can't get there from here". Our only passenger system is Amtrak (amtrak.com) and it refuses to give a route at all from Memphis to Nashville. I know how strange this sounds, but I think you'd have to go through Chicago and possibly even Atlanta as well.

A car will get you there in about 3.5 hours each way. No tolls, straight through expressway.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 09:29 AM
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I think even if you drove it would be too much to do in one day. As the above poster said, it would be a 7-hour round-trip drive. Not really worth it. What about spending an evening in Nashville? It really is a very different city from Memphis.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:22 PM
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Nashville isn't served by train; the last train service there was in 1979. If you wanted to visit nashville, you'l have to either fly or drive (rent a car). Our rail service here in the States isn't funded anywhere near the levels to which you are accustomed to in Europe, and as a result, many areas see only one train per day, and there are many large segments of the nation which have no train service at all. Nashville at one time was a busy rail hub, as was memphis, but our politicians chosr to fund roads to a much larger degree. Almost all railroads in the United States are private, not public like the highways, and as such, the private RRs are completely responsible for all of their upkeep. That's different from the roads, which are funded through vehicle registrations, government bonds, and a trust fund supported by the fuel tax. Amtrak has never had these funding resources available, and as a result, has been limited in its resources with which to provide service. There is commuter rail in certain parts of the country, but that too has to be funded by the local sales tax.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but suffice it to say that Amtrak simply offers no service to Nashville, for the reasons stated above and others.
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Old Sep 6th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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Looks like it's an overnight stay if I want to visit Nashville. I must say I am surprised you can't get to a city in the same state by train when it is only a few hours away. Maybe we should stop complaining about the train service in Scotland !!
Thanks for the info
Tony
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Old Sep 6th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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Not only that - but its ridiculously inconvenient to get even to most major cities.

For example - to get from NYC to Chicago (about 800 miles):

Fly: 2 hours (at least 40 flights per day)

Drive: a long day (11/12 hours depending on traffic/construction)

Train: about 20 hours (overnight) - if it runs on time - which it never does (2 trains per day)

In the US non-commuter rail service is really good only in the Northeast corrider (Boston - NYC - Washington DC).

(The government is committed to air travel and road travel - no one wants to pay for train travel).
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Old Sep 6th, 2004, 04:00 PM
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tonys, most cities in the US have no passenger train service at all. There is only one rail service, a barely-subsidized national serivce. You can check any potential train itinerary at www.amtrak.com.

Our highway system, on the other hand, is quite thorough, providing multi-lane service even to the most obscure unpopulated corners. So there is plenty of free enterprise and competition among bus (coach) companies.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 04:54 AM
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Don't be apologetic WITC_106. Your reply (and those of others) were most helpful for us who are in Memphis looking to go to Nashville.

So it's fly (with all that hassle) ... or coach ... or car.

Trouble with the last one is that the extra costs on top of the advertised rate, along with the drop off fee (from $50 to $300 depending on company) increase the rate to about $75 (plus gas of course)per day. I find that surprising in a country that uses the car so much and where the car and gas are so cheap to buy. Can get much better deals at home and have rented from Enterprise in the UK at GBP 15 per day over a 4 day rental.
So thanks again everyone for the info.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 05:31 AM
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Have since moved from Memphis to Australia since this post... not surprised that in 7 years that it hasn't gotten easier to get from A to B.

We were in L.A. and Orange County in Sept and wanted to rent a car for the day and even had to pay a smallish drop fee to pick up in OC and drop at LAX, and it wasn't an airport fee. I couldn't find a company that had the pickup/drop off points and didn't charge the extra. We've rented in Europe and elsewhere and can't think of anywhere that charges if dropping in the same country, even if it's not the same city. You'd think that staying in the same state in the US ought to be similar but it's not. Another one of those things where every US company joins in to make sure one doesn't have an alternative.
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