Study: High Speed Rail for Atlanta could be economically feasible
Consulting service HNTB presented the findings of a study on High Speed Rail in the southeast to Georgia’s State Transportation Board this week. The findings show that high-speed passenger trains connecting Atlanta with Jacksonville, Louisville, and Birmingham would be economically feasible.
From a Jacksonville news article on the study:
Fares between Atlanta and Jacksonville would range between $119.41 and $152.24. Construction would cost from $5 billion to $16 billion, or $11.5 million to $41 million for each mile. That compared to $54 million per mile as the top range of the estimate on the Atlanta-to-Birmingham route.
Atlanta and Jacksonville are both planning downtown stations where passengers could switch from the high-speed trains to local transit.
A quick look at current airfare from ATL to Jacksonville shows prices to be in the $154-164 range, so HSR prices would be competitive.
I’m mostly interested in this because of the multi-modal passenger terminal planned for downtown Atlanta. It would provide a hub for high-speed rail and connect it with other transportation modes. But most importantly to me, it would find a better use for the The Gulch other than just sitting there and making me sad.
Photo of Taiwan HSR from Flickr user sanbeiji | Photo of The Gulch from Flickr user zeusface