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Should Amtrak come to the Tri-Cities?

Johnson City Press • Updated Oct 28, 2018 at 7:51 PM

As reported by staff writer Zach Vance, a group from Bristol is working to convince transportation company Amtrak to extend its passenger rail service to the Twin City.

The Bristol VA/TN Rail Coalition believes connecting the Tri-Cities to a service line extended to Roanoke, Virginia, last year would positively expand the transportation options for locals and bring new visitors and economic investment into the area. The plan is in its preliminary stages, and the coalition is waiting for the results of a economic impact study and is hoping to expand that study to cover Johnson City and Kingsport.

Some, however, fret about Amtrak’s financial stability and its annual need for government subsidies.Why should we buy into a national rail system that loses money, they ask? Still others have complained about the cost of the economic impact study. The Bristol coalition has secured $450,000 in grants for the initial study, but estimate another $100,000 is needed to expand it to the other two cities.

The Press’ editorial board has already weighed in on the idea in favor, but we’d like to hear from you, our readers.

Do you support bringing Amtrak’s passenger rail service to the Tri-Cities? Why or why not? If the service is extended, would you use it? Where would you go?

Send your correspondence to [email protected] Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length.

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