It’s been a minute since we’ve had any updates on the proposed high-speed rail from Charlotte to Atlanta.
Last time we dove into the topic in Oct. of 2019, there were 3 proposed routes —
- Use existing Amtrak line
- Would hit Gainesville + Toccoa, GA; Clemson; Greenville; Greer; Spartanburg; Gastonia, NC; and more
- 7% of you voted for this option as your favorite route (out of ~1,300 votes)
- New rail lines that would run beside I-85
- Would hit Lawrenceville + Commerce, GA; Anderson; Greenville; Spartanburg; Gastonia, NC; and more
- 45% of you voted for this option as your favorite route (out of ~1,300 votes)
- New rail lines that would run through Anderson + Athens, GA
- Would hit Lawrenceville + Athens, GA; Anderson; GSP Airport; South Gastonia, NC; and more
- 43% of you voted for this option as your favorite route (out of ~1,300 votes)
On July 9, after receiving input from the public, stakeholders, and agencies during public meetings and a comment period, the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision was published in the Environmental Protection Agency Federal Register, and (*drumroll please*) the Greenfield Corridor was selected as the preferred alternative.
So, what’s next?
Well, don’t hold your breath or rebook that flight just yet. This rail has been years in the making, and now, the Federal Railroad Administration will hold a 30-day waiting period to allow the public + other interested parties the opportunity to review the selected alternative and the contents of the Tier 1 FEIS/ROD.
Additionally, according to the Georgia DOT’s website, additional funding + project sponsors would be needed for subsequent phases of the project, including a Tier 2 study.
So for now, we’ll just be chew chew-ing this over, and dreaming of the day we can book that international flight knowing we won’t get stuck in Atlanta traffic.