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High-Speed Rail Connecting Atlanta to Charlotte Studied
David Wickert reports: "High-speed rail could whisk passengers between Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., in a little over two hours, but it would cost billions of dollars to build, a new study shows."
The project is estimated to cost $15.4 billion according to a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) released by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration. The DEIS does not identify funding or a timetable, but the release does launch a public comment period.
The DEIS considers three possible routes for the line: the "Southern Crescent" route that would follow Norfolk Southern railroad right of way, the I-85 corridor that follows the interstate, and the "Greenfield" corridor located south of I-85.
"Cost estimates, travel times and projected ridership vary substantially, with the Greenfield corridor offering the fastest travel times and the highest passenger volumes," explains Wickert of the findings of the report's analysis. The I-85 route would be most expensive, and the Southern Crescent route is by far the cheapest option.