GDOT Representatives Discuss Possibility Of High-Speed Train Service From Atlanta To Chattanooga

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

At a meeting held in Dalton on Tuesday night, GDOT representatives discussed the possibility of creating high-speed train service from Atlanta to Chattanooga.

The project is known as the Atlanta-Chattanooga High Speed Ground Transportation Project. According to GDOT, the purpose is to "enhance intercity passenger mobility and economic growth between the metropolitan areas and airports of Atlanta and Chattanooga by providing new, high-speed ground transportation passenger service.

While such plans have been talked about for several years, GDOT is conducting a study called a Tier One Environmental Impact Statement.

Results of the study will allow officials to plan the best locations for stations and for the actual corridor. 

Justin Fox from the lead consulting team said, "The state rail plan sets a vision of where the state wants to go with its rail investments."

He also said they want the service to be "environmentally friendly and sustainable." 

Benefits of the service, he said, would include economic growth in the area and give passengers an alternative to highway travel.

According to GDOT, the three major highways currently serving the corridor area, I-75, US 41, and US 27, are expected to operate at or over capacity by the year 2025. Having a train system would add additional capacity. 

The types of trains being considered are the magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) and the steel wheeled. Both types would be able to travel at speeds over 180 m.p.h. The MAGLEV trains can potentially travel over 300 m.p.h.

Currently, these trains are only operated in Japan and China.

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