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Opinion | An Amtrak line between Memphis and Nashville makes perfect sense

Otis Sanford discusses the possibility of an Amtrak line between Tennessee's largest city to the state's capital.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Otis Sanford reporting:

Memphis is known as a major transportation hub with air, rail and river traffic contributing to this city's economic health. 

But when it comes passenger rail service, the Bluff City leaves a lot to be desired. All we have now is service going south to New Orleans and north to Chicago, but that could be about to change if political and government leaders get on board with efforts to add a new Amtrak line linking Memphis to Nashville. 

Granted, that's a big "if." Memphis is usually left out of most new initiatives, but Amtrak passenger service from Tennessee's largest city to the state's capital city makes perfect sense, particularly since Amtrak and federal transportation officials have expressed interest in a Nashville to Atlanta line that would run through Chattanooga.

Democratic state Sen. Heidi Campbell of Nashville told The Daily Memphian last week a Memphis to Nashville link could be possible but only if the state Department of Transportation gets behind it. 

That means Gov. Bill Lee and top legislative leaders must get behind it as well.

Traveling by rail has gained tremendously in popularity as the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and as traveling by air — while obviously much faster — is racked by a variety of headaches (from canceled flights to lost luggage).

As Amtrak looks at future expansion, Memphis should not be left behind. 

I'm Otis Sanford, and that's my point of view.

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