Georgia eyeing high-speed rail project – Atlanta Business Chronicle

12
Jun

Georgia eyeing high-speed rail project – Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Georgia Department of Transportation, frequently criticized by passenger rail advocates as too focused on highways, has launched an ambitious plan for a high-speed rail line linking Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C.

The DOT and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) held three “scoping” meetings the week of June 3 in Suwanee; Greer, S.C.; and Charlotte; open-house style, to show attendees the routes and high-speed technologies being considered in the project’s beginning stages. In fact, it’s too early even for a “ballpark” estimate of how much the line would cost to build or what passengers would pay for a ride, DOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale said.

“There are just too many variables involved,” she said.

The scoping meetings kicked off a 30-day public comment period.

Following that, the two agencies will undertake an environmental-impact study leading to the selection of one of six alternative routes for the rail line by 2015. The study is being financed through a $4.9 million grant, with the feds picking up 80 percent of the cost and the DOT the other 20 percent.

Subject to landing the necessary funding, high-speed service could begin along the Atlanta-to-Charlotte corridor by the end of 2025.

via Georgia eyeing high-speed rail project – Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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