Atlanta-Charlotte high-speed train project moves forward
A proposed high-speed passenger rail line linking Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, now has a preferred route.
As a member of Atlanta to Charlotte Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan (PRCIP)the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) recently released the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) (download below). It evaluated three route options to serve the growing Piedmont Atlantic megaregion, including Atlanta; Charlotte; Greenville, South Carolina; and Spartanburg, SC
Georgia DOT and FRA worked with North Carolina and South Carolina stakeholders throughout the process. FRA has identified the Greenfield Corridor as the preferred corridor alternative based on the analysis presented in the draft Tier 1 EIA and comments received from the public, stakeholders and agencies during public meetings and the comment period.
The 274-mile Greenfield Corridor connects Charlotte (Charlotte Gateway Station) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (see map above). Two stations in South Carolina, three in North Carolina and five in Georgia could be included. The route “generally follows a dedicated new alignment between Charlotte Douglas International Airport and northeast Atlanta,” according to FRA, which noted that the service could use diesel propulsion (for speeds up to 125 mph) or electric (up to 220 mph). Technology. “A future Tier II study will define the specific alignment of the alternate Greenfield Corridor, including final approaches to Atlanta and Charlotte.”
The Atlanta-Charlotte line is a “full extension of the Southeastern High-Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR), as designated by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT),” according to the FRA. “The SEHSR Corridor will eventually provide important connectivity between Atlanta and Washington, DC, and up the Northeast Corridor to Boston, Mass.”
Funding for the construction of this part of the SEHSR has not yet been fully identified, according to the FRA.