Last Friday, the U.S. government under President Biden said it would spend $8.2 million to make new train routes for passengers in the country. This includes money for a fast train line between Charlotte and Atlanta.
The project, which will go through North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, just got an extra $500,000 to help plan the route and see if it’s possible. The Federal Railroad Administration collaborated with transportation organizations from the three states to complete a sizable environmental study in 2021, which led to this.
They plan to build a 274-mile fast train track with three stops near Charlotte (Charlotte Gateway, Charlotte Airport, and South Gastonia), two in South Carolina (Greenville Airport and Anderson), and five in Georgia.
This train track is part of a bigger program called Corridor ID, which comes from a law about infrastructure. Besides the fast train from Atlanta to Charlotte, this program is also looking at regular train lines connecting Atlanta to Savannah and Atlanta to Chattanooga, and then going further to Nashville and Memphis.
The day before this announcement, Georgia Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock said they got $500,000 from the federal government to study making train lines from Atlanta to Charlotte, Atlanta to Savannah, and Atlanta to Chattanooga.
Those grants will “fund efforts to explore three new passenger rail routes across Georgia and into neighboring states,” a release said.
“Through the bipartisan infrastructure law, Senator Warnock and I are accelerating progress toward passenger rail networks to serve Georgia and the Southeast region. This is a long-term project that will require cooperation and strong execution at all levels of government, but it has the potential to unlock huge gains in mobility and quality of life for Georgians,” Sen. Ossoff said in a statement.
The planned train is meant to go as fast as 220 mph and might cost about $8 billion. When it’s done, it will take about 2 hours to travel from Atlanta to Charlotte, which is a lot quicker than the 4-hour trip by road right now.