TARP News Summer 2023
Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers
TARP Re-Organizational Meeting
November 18, 2023
The Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers will gather on Saturday, November 18, 2023,10:30 a.m. at the Cookeville Depot Museum, Cookeville, Tennessee.

The purpose of this meeting is to reorganize TARP with a new set of by-laws and a newly elected group of officers and directors.

Tennessee is growing and ideas for passenger rail are advancing. Therefore, TARP needs to grow and advance as well.

Going forward, we need a passenger rail advocacy group that interfaces more with the State Legislature and that does more grassroots outreach in the various parts of our beautiful state.

Payment of dues in 2023 is a requirement to participate and vote. Information on payment of dues is posted below.

Closer to time we will make an announcement about meals, snacks, presentations, and other details. For now, please mark your calendar and make plans to join us.

Cookeville Depot Museum is located at 116 W. Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501.
Back on Track?
The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations prepared a comprehensive document based on an extensive study on passenger rail possibilities in Tennessee.

TARP is very pleased to note that the idea and proposals came about by looking at other state models and using data gathered from other state and interstate-related organizations.

The study is also balanced with specific ideas for short-term solutions to some of our state's mobility problems, including the expansion of intercity bus in certain corridors.

It's especially helpful to note the overall theme of the various proposals is to improve our mobility options to benefit the state as a whole.

We encourage our members and visitors to our website to please take some time to read the document in full and take note of its content. Please also take a moment to reach out to your elected officials so that the conversation can lead to specific proposals with the necessary funding mechanisms.

Southern Rail Commission shows us how
As civic leaders and elected officials in Tennessee look for ways to get passenger rail expanded in the Volunteer State, our neighbors in the deep south are showing us how it's done.

The Southern Rail Commission, charged with re-establishing passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Mobile, has overcome near impossible obstacles.

In spite of resistance from freight rail operators, opposition from the Governor of Alabama, and discouragement from the Port Authority, the Southern Rail Commission managed to cleared the way for passenger rail.

As of the release of this newsletter, test runs are under way and plans for stations are in progress.

The Southern Rail Commission will meet again on Friday, September 8, 2023, 9:00 a.m. at The Grand Hotel, Point Clear, Alabama. Hopefully we will hear a detailed plan for service to begin at this meeting.

In Memory of Bob Thurman
On April 2nd we received the sad news that Robert (Bob) William Thurman, Jr. passed following several months of declining health.

Bob was a founding member of TARP and served on the board for the better part of our 44-year history.

We will always appreciate his passion for passenger rail and his work for the betterment of his home state.

Call for officers and directors
When I was elected President of TARP in June of 2014, my primary task was to keep the organization going. 
State-level passenger rail organizations were falling by the wayside. One by one we saw groups in Alabama and Georgia dissolve and disband while groups in other states went into an inactive status.
My secondary purpose was to maintain a voice for passenger rail and balanced transportation even if the powers-that-be in Tennessee were refusing to listen.
In the nine years that I have served as president I can say that we accomplished both objectives together. We are still here and still active even though it seemed the odds were stacked against us. 
However, things have changed and hopefully for the better! Passenger rail has the attention of Tennessee residents, elected officials, civic leaders, and news media alike. The subject of passenger rail in Tennessee has moved from a question of “if” to a question of “how soon”. 
I’m grateful to see this change in direction, and now it’s time to make some changes in TARP.
The time has come to re-organize, re-position, and re-vitalize the Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers. With that in mind, I am ready to complete my term as president and make way for new ideas and leadership.
I have called a re-organizational meeting for TARP on Saturday, November 18, 2023, 10:30 a.m. at Cookeville Depot Museum, Cookeville, Tennessee.
At this meeting, we need to elect a new slate of officers and approve a working set of by-laws to help us advance our cause.
If you are interested in being part of the newly-organized TARP board, please reply to this e-mail and let us know.
I've been a member of TARP since 1990 and I plan to remain involved for years to come. I look forward to what’s ahead for us and for rail passengers in our home state!

Respectfully yours,

L. Jarod Pearson, President
Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers
Support TARP in 2023!

  • We depend on you, our paying members, to keep TARP in motion! 
  • Your annual $20 dues help us provide a website, an e-mail blast newsletter, brochures, handouts, and cover basic operating expenses. 
  • TARP is a voice for passenger rail and balanced transportation with a 43-year history!
  • Many state-level passenger rail organizations are dormant or inactive, but TARP is fully operational!
  • Support TARP in 2022 with your $20 annual dues or with a donation. 

You can pay annual dues of $20, click here to use our our secure PayPal service.  Or, consider a donation to help us offset expenses.
Or, you can send a $20 check/money order (or a donation) to TARP, PO Box 585, Cowan, Tenn. 37318.