General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
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High Speed Rail Line Plows Through Bureaucracy
I think I've seen this before, but we haven't discussed it here yet. It certainly seems to be different than the SEHSR project.
If you've ever been stuck in slow-moving traffic between Chattanooga and Atlanta, you need to know its going to get worse.
Transportation experts say in a few years, travelers will be demanding a better way to get there.
That's the reason for high-speed rail lines now under study in the southeast.
Instead of the crowded skies, you may be making a 45 minute trip to Atlanta or Nashville on a high-speed train.
It's a project that's been in the works for years, using either Magnetic-Levitation trains that can travel at 280 miles an hour, or just high-speed trains that go 180 miles an hour.
China and Japan have used them for years.
Next stop, Willoughby
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I've been following the project myself and I'm disturbed by the continual mention of maglev technology. I don't believe it's mature enough to use in this country just yet, and it doesn't easily allow extension, or use of existing railroad infrastructure. I don't know what the actual route is yet (do they even know?) but it seems to me that for the last 1-10 miles into Atlanta, it'd be better to switch onto existing railroad rather than trying to fit in a brand new corridor into downtown Atlanta.
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If going direct to the airport (bypassing downtown ATL, and a link to MARTA), you can come down I75, and on around 285 to the airport, and avoid downtown entirely.
(That's how most of us drive to the airport anyways ... all the parking places are on Camp Creek Pkwy @ 285)
The ROW issues aren't much easier, but at least you're not dealing with a monster superhighway and the super congested buildup of the big city.
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And having ridden MARTA from ATL to downtown last September, I'd find that to be an acceptable solution. The ride on MARTA wasn't that long.
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I think that it's a harebrained idea. Maglev is an immature technology, so why use that when one can use steel-wheel electric trains?
Nashville, TN: 1.6m
Chattanooga, TN: 0.17m
Atlanta, GA: 5.3m
Distance: Nashville - 135 mi - Chattanooga - 118 mi - Atlanta
Atlanta and Nashville have respectable populations, but Chattanooga is a bit on the small side. Also, the route is in a rather mountainous area, so it will need lots of viaducts, tunnels, or both.
I don't see this project going ahead unless it is supported by super-porkmeister politicians. Like Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who had a legacy of lots of very nice four-lane highways in his state.
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From what I understand from talking to folks in NW Georgia, the Chattanooga/Atlanta connection isn't nearly as much about the airport connections as much as having an excuse to secure a ROW so that they can then access something that Atlanta needs even more than more airline space... water.
Yes, it's somewhat of a conspiracy theory, but it has some deep roots from what I can tell.
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Any time you associate the word "maglev" with dreamer politicians who know next-to-nothing about the limitations of real rail operation, you can confine the story to the "circular file".
What a revoltin' development this is! (William Bendix)
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Georgia's DOT recently released some documents
for a study of Atlanta - Chattanooga rail options. Three routings are under consideration
Some more info
from the Chattanoogan
The Georgia Department of Transportation study says following closely to I-75 is the shortest route at 128 miles between the Atlanta and Chattanooga airports. It also would be the quickest at 88 minutes.
The East Route would be 139 miles and take 95 minutes.
Including Rome would bring the length to 150 miles and the time to 102 minutes. However, it would draw the most riders - 13,204 per day. The I-75 route would have 11,725 daily commuters and the East Route would have the least at 8,556.
The I-75 route would cost $8.76 billion to build. The Rome route would be $9.81 billion. The East Route is $10.42 billion.
Officials said following closely to I-75 is the "highest performing" route.
This project is still apparently floating the idea of either traditional rail or Mag Lev....
If Georgia were to suddenly decide to invest billions in passenger rail, why in the world would they spend that money connecting to Chattanooga instead of investing in the southern end of the SEHSR corridor? Hard to see this one going anywhere.