• MARTA Atlanta GA - South Expansion Clayton and Henry County

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Jeff Smith
 
Henry Herald

As of today, Clayton is on board with MARTA in the form of buses. Rail has been discussed; it's not clear to me if it's the commuter rail proposal to Lovejoy that's been discussed (reference has been made to using Norfolk Southern's right-of-way) or if it would be MARTA Heavy / Subway rail. This article appears to indicate the latter, as an extension of MARTA from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Brief, fair-use quote from article:
Commissioner supports MARTA services in Henry County
<SNIP>
Clayton County joined MARTA in March but their involvement in the transit project was planned when MARTA was first developed. It wasn’t a matter of if Clayton would join but when.

#Parker said Clayton officials first developed a transportation plan, then reached out to MARTA. Clayton citizens then voted in 2014 to bring in MARTA, with 74 percent in favor. The services are funded from a 1 cent sales in the county, with half of the cent paying for buses and the other half set aside to look at rail in the future.

#Clayton’s MARTA bus services launched in March this year, though Parker said it could be another seven to 10 years before rail services are in Clayton. He said a 15-mile rail line is planned in Clayton to connect the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport area to Lovejoy.
<SNIP>
Don Dunlap, president of the Stockbridge Business Association, suggested that because other areas of the county aren’t as urban as northern Henry, they not be as interested in rail and MARTA services. He supported having MARTA in Stockbridge, however.<SNIP>
  by MattW
 
While technically the mode hasn't been determined, it is unlikely to be HRT due to the cost, and the time involved. The current plan is to terminate in East Point...which is right on the NS and CSX mainline so once all is said and done, very likely they'll have some kind of downtown station even if it isn't the full MMPT.
  by litz
 
The ideal solution, which probably will never happen, is to extend MARTA south to the international terminal, and then continue onwards, as needed, into the county.
  by MattW
 
litz wrote:The ideal solution, which probably will never happen, is to extend MARTA south to the international terminal, and then continue onwards, as needed, into the county.
Not really, since much beyond the airport, density falls of rapidly making heavy rail overkill for the county.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Update: AJC.com

Brief, fair-use:
NEW DETAILS: MARTA plans commuter rail line for Clayton County

MARTA is close to approving a passenger rail line through Clayton County that supporters hope will transform commuting and economic development south of Atlanta.

The 22-mile line would connect MARTA’s East Point station to Jonesboro and Lovejoy along the existing Norfolk Southern railroad right of way. The diesel-powered trains could be bigger and faster than MARTA’s existing electric rail vehicles and comparable to commuter railroads found in cities like Chicago, Boston, New York and Seattle.
...
The new line would parallel the Norfolk Southern tracks, using the same right of way. Parker said that would reduce construction costs, which have not been determined.

MARTA must still negotiate an agreement with Norfolk Southern to use the right of way - the railroad declined to comment. And the project must go through an environmental review before it can qualify for crucial federal funding.
...
  by MattW
 
Well MARTA went and did something wrong:
https://www.ajc.com/politics/marta-may- ... REUCIHK74/
MARTA and Clayton County may scrap plans for a commuter rail line through the county because a freight railroad won’t allow passenger trains in its right of way.
It's paywalled, and I'll try to keep an eye out for a non-paywall article. The article though doesn't really say much, just the usual fluff about continuing to work toward a solution. Frankly, I can't help but wonder what MARTA did to mess this up? What were they actually asking for?
  by gt7348b
 
It is my understanding is that is was the requirements NS was placing such as a completely separate track for passenger trains. In some places, particularly up near I-285 and Forrest Park, there is not the ROW for more than the existing single track.
  by MattW
 
gt7348b wrote: Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:29 am It is my understanding is that is was the requirements NS was placing such as a completely separate track for passenger trains. In some places, particularly up near I-285 and Forrest Park, there is not the ROW for more than the existing single track.
Was it an NS requirement that there be a completely separate track? Or was that MARTA's idea and subsequently it became NS's requirement that a separate track be so far from NS tracks? I've never heard MARTA say anything but "separate track" since pitching the idea. I can see why NS would want a track that they don't control to be a good distance away from their tracks since they would have no oversight of the training and qualifications of the people that would be working within the RoW. As to space, there's plenty, the I-285 bridge already carries a second track, make it a main track, slightly reconfigure the tracks into Forest Park yard. But that's if MARTA agrees to let NS own the track and MARTA just pays NS to run trains over it.
  by gt7348b
 
@Matt - It was an NS position that passenger trains operate on a separate track (Full disclosure, I'm a former MARTA employee). Back in 2007, the Transit Planning Board hired RL Banks to do an updated feasibility analysis on the GDOT Commuter Rail plan. Part of that plan included obtaining val maps from NS and CSX. After rereading the report, you're correct that there is room for 2 tracks, but the narrowest point is 35' and I'm not sure if NS was asking for a separation that would be greater than allowable (see pages 40 and 41). http://web.archive.org/web/201005280935 ... -11-07.pdf

What really irks me is that NS offered to sell the entire S-line to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (with an option of the line to Savannah) on behalf of the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority back under Gov Barnes. They had reached agreement on price, insurance, and schedules for commuter rail to Griffin in the summer of 2000. Then, Nov 2000, we got Gov Perdue.....
  by electricron
 
gt7348b wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:09 pm What really irks me is that NS offered to sell the entire S-line to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (with an option of the line to Savannah) on behalf of the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority back under Gov Barnes. They had reached agreement on price, insurance, and schedules for commuter rail to Griffin in the summer of 2000. Then, Nov 2000, we got Gov Perdue.....
Why do both political parties do this? In the very last year of their administration and an election year to boot; they reach agreements to spend lots of money requiring the legislatures or congress to spend lots of money for the agreement, policy, project, or whatever, to be valid and move forward ---- only to lose that election and the whole thing gets cancelled by the new governor, president, legislature, or congress.

Here's a great idea, get your new expensive deals done early, so you can get the funding lined up and the project finished before the next election.
  by MattW
 
gt7348b wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:09 pm @Matt - It was an NS position that passenger trains operate on a separate track (Full disclosure, I'm a former MARTA employee). Back in 2007, the Transit Planning Board hired RL Banks to do an updated feasibility analysis on the GDOT Commuter Rail plan. Part of that plan included obtaining val maps from NS and CSX. After rereading the report, you're correct that there is room for 2 tracks, but the narrowest point is 35' and I'm not sure if NS was asking for a separation that would be greater than allowable (see pages 40 and 41). http://web.archive.org/web/201005280935 ... -11-07.pdf

What really irks me is that NS offered to sell the entire S-line to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (with an option of the line to Savannah) on behalf of the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority back under Gov Barnes. They had reached agreement on price, insurance, and schedules for commuter rail to Griffin in the summer of 2000. Then, Nov 2000, we got Gov Perdue.....
That still makes no sense to me. NS coexists with plenty of other commuter rail operators. Why are they being such a stick in the mud here? What was your role in MARTA? I'm not necessarily questioning what you're saying, but there is no logical sense in NS being the bad guy here. Sure, they have to protect their interests, but this isn't exactly a heavily used line. They could have gotten some funding concessions for capacity improvements on the much busier NS Atlanta South line if they were really that concerned about capacity.
  by electricron
 
MattW wrote: Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:53 pm Why are they being such a stick in the mud here? ..... Sure, they have to protect their interests, but this isn't exactly a heavily used line. They could have gotten some funding concessions for capacity improvements on the much busier NS Atlanta South line if they were really that concerned about capacity.
Why can be easily answered after what happen in Littleton Colorado over a decade ago.
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/ ... ?4,1553878
An UP coal train derailed off its freight tracks and a RTD light rail train crashed into the coal hoppers blocking the light rail tracks. At this location the different tracks are like 25 to 50 feet apart. UP must have lost a lot of money with this accident.

Since that time (2007), few if any new passenger train services run immediately adjacent to freight owned railroad corridors. All new light rail and metro rail lines have crash walls located between the freight and light rail tracks if they are at the same grade, and never on an active freight railroad property. Most new commuter rail lines have received the same treatment as well. The few non examples are on shared tracks owned by the passenger rail provider.

Just about the only railroad company in America providing new passenger train services since this accident on or near freight owned tracks without crash barriers or grade and time separation has been Amtrak. It seems Amtrak has a few federal regulations favoring it that the other passenger rail agencies do not have. :(

If the freight railroads could restrict existing commuter, light or metro rail passenger train services on or near their tracks without barriers, they would. They no longer encourage Amtrak to expand services over their tracks as well. Amtrak has to drag them kicking and screaming under protests all the way.

That's why I keep suggesting separating freight and passenger train services as much as possible. Use an abandoned railroad corridor, use a brand new railroad corridor, use a highway corridor, etc.