The city, thru the Civic Center, is pulling the plug on the small, twin spires RR station RJ Corman built behind the Civic Center. Some legal dispute I don’t have details on is responsible, and has gone on for some time. When the lease ends, the end of this month, Corman will be out of the property and also end the dinner train that originates there.
This is a bad situation all the way around.
I don’t mean to take sides, since I am not privy to the legal arguments, but I can put forth two ideas why the city and the Corman firm should settle their difference. Surely reasonable people can find a way.
One, the dinner train is a tourist attraction...and as much push as Kentucky and Lexington are putting behind tourism, we can ill afford to give up on such a unique attraction.
Two, but permit me to suggest another reason. Such a train station could serve as downtown Lexington’s point of departure for a regularly scheduled train to Frankfort—a service decided in large part to appeal to state workers, delivering them to the old downtown Frankfort station, by the History Center, and getting their cars off the interstate during morning & evening rush hours.
Single diesel passenger cars exist, often double deckers, to handle such traffic...and a schedule of morning departures from Lexington, and evening departures from the capital could be arranged. (It would also serve shoppers in both cities, and tourists because our capital city is such a draw.) Although they fluctuate, I’m betting such a train could operate more cheaply than gasoline prices would allow state employees to drive round trip. City buses meeting the trains could get state employees to their jobs, but a lot of them work within blocks of the Frankfort station.
BUT, hold on a moment. IF this plan works (with lower rates for those buying five day tickets, etc), then a similar system could be set up between Louisville (which has been pondering light rail for a while) and the Frankfort station to get River City state employees off I-64 (in good weather and in bad!) which would certainly help that beleaguered road—tied up so very frequently with accidents.
So NOW we have a passenger train system that runs between Lexington and Louisville, via the Frankfort connection. Am I the only one who sees all sorts of possibilities and advantages in this?
But it needs a station, a departure point in our city. Why tear down the logical place for that point, the Corman station..and build another one later when city and state work out the details?
Our two mayors are supposed to be co-operating on projects for the good of both towns. Here’s one.
I'm just sayin'...