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high speed transit from nashville to atlanta?

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They will probably do high speed rail from Atlanta to Columbus, Macon, and Savannah before they go to Nashville. I have heard talks of extending it to Birmingham and Jacksonville, FL but that will be a long time. They have already started constructing the rail south of Atlanta to Lovejoy. That rail will extend down to Macon. Other lines will be to Columbus, Athens, and eventually Savannah. It will be great for GA, AL, and Tenn if they do it.

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This plan all started back in the late 90s with the Maglev hoopla. Several corridors presented their case in an effort to be awarded funding. The Atlanta-Chattanooga line was rejected during the finalist evaluation, but the Pittsburgh and DC/Baltimore lines were approved. Everything went well for a while until Bush pulled the plug on Maglev projects.

Maglev promised smooth transit with speeds up to 310 MPH. The plan called for an east coast "mainline" which was a north-south continuation of the DC/Baltimore route--going north to Boston through Philadelphia and NYC, and south to Atlanta through Winston-Salem and Charlotte.

Support in Georgia for the Chattanooga Maglev system was spotty, and was met with a lot of opposition including a court case in Atlanta which urged the line not be built. In the end, the naysayers got their wish :( beotchs... No matter anyway since Bush killed it.

The FRA prodded a now reluctant GDOT, ARC, and TDOT to study a rail-based train route to Chattanooga, using high speed rail technology already applied in the NE corridor and presently being applied from DC to NC. The latter promises speeds of 110 MPH, while sections north of DC already see such speeds. Part of the NE corridor near Boston has the potential to see sprints to 150 MPH!

While the original SEHSR corridor is for a DC/Richmond/Raleigh/Greensboro/Charlotte route, there is already talk of extending the line south of Charlotte. This is a link to a quick article about a proposed "Charlotte to Macon" extension, passing through Spartanburg, Greenville, and Atlanta.

Sadly, this southern extension will likely only be built for a 79-90 MPH top speed. They cite poor track conditions and geography for this condition. With a great deal more money invested, they can squeeze a 110 MPH top speed out of the corridor, but that speed is only possible for brief periods of time. The average speed ends up being on like 2 MPH faster. At least this form of High Speed Rail (though not really all that "high") is more comparable with driving--and it is certainly less stressful.

So anyway, expect to see similar technology applied to an Atlanta-Chattanooga line, eventually leading to Nashville. It will never be as fast as a car on a good traffic day, but it is certainly less stressful and actually quite fun!

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