The “To and Thru Bristol Passenger Rail” Coalition is a legacy community initiative to bring Amtrak passenger rail service back to Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.
In June 2023, the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) published "Back on Track? Intercity Passenger Rail Options for Tennessee," a summary report analyzing potential passenger rail service options for the State of Tennessee. Among the recommendations of the study were the following key points:
TDOT should determine the cost, engineering, and any other requirements to implement passenger rail service from Chattanooga to Knoxville to Bristol as a Tier 2 priority;
TDOT should submit an application to the Federal Rail Administration's (FRA) Corridor ID program for the Chattanooga-Knoxville-Bristol corridor;
TDOT should collaborate with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) to maximize the viability of the Chattanooga-Knoxville-Bristol corridor as well as the Southwest Virginia Amtrak expansion from New River Valley to Bristol;
The State of Tennessee should create an office of rail and public transportation within TDOT; and
The State of Tennessee should evaluate increasing intercity bus service along the I-40/I-81 corridor, including to Bristol.
For more information on the results of the TACIR report, please read here.