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High-Speed Passenger Rail: An Exciting Opportunity for the Future of Anderson County

High-Speed Passenger Rail: An Exciting Opportunity for the Future of Anderson County

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Federal Railroad Authority (FRA) have just released the first phase of their study to locate a high-speed passenger rail service between Atlanta and Charlotte. All three of the possible routes under review pass through Upstate South Carolina. Two of the three possible routes have proposed stops in Anderson County.

High-speed interstate rail service is a very exciting prospect for Anderson County. It provides expanded business and employment opportunities, increased visitation to our community, access to regional cultural and entertainment opportunities, and greater connections among friends and families across the region.

GDOT and FRA are accepting public comments through Monday, November 4th. Residents of Anderson County can register their support for this exciting opportunity here:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AtlCha19  

The three routes under review are summarized below, with maps attached.

1. SOUTHERN CRESCENT ROUTE

The Southern Crescent route follows the Norfolk Southern rail corridor which currently hosts Amtrak service between Atlanta and Charlotte. Stations on this route include:

·         Charlotte Gateway

·         Charlotte Douglas International Airport

·         Gastonia

·         Spartanburg

·         Greer

·         Greenville

·         Clemson

·         Toccoa

·         Gainesville

·         Suwanee

·         Doraville

·         Downtown Atlanta

·         Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The Southern Crescent Route utilizes an existing rail line, however it provides the slowest service of the three potential routes. This route has no stop in Anderson County. 

2. INTERSTATE 85 ROUTE

The I-85 route follows the interstate right-of-way between Atlanta and Charlotte. Stations on this route include:

·         Charlotte Gateway

·         Charlotte Douglas International Airport

·         Gastonia

·         Spartanburg

·         Greenville

·         Anderson

·         Suwanee

·         Doraville

·         Downtown Atlanta

·         Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The I-85 route utilizes interstate right-of-way, however it has the greatest capital costs of the three routes. This route has one stop in Anderson County, to be located along I-85. 2

3. GREENFIELD ROUTE

The Greenfield route would follow a newly constructed, dedicated rail corridor. Stations on this route include:

·         Charlotte Gateway

·         Charlotte Douglas International Airport

·         South Gastonia

·         Greenville-Spartanburg Airport

·         Anderson

·         Athens

·         Suwanee

·         Doraville

·         Downtown Atlanta

·         Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The Greenfield route offers the fastest travel times and the highest projected ridership of the three alternative routes. This route has one stop in Anderson County, and because of its location south of the City of Anderson, could provide considerable economic stimulus to this area of the county.

More information on the proposed Atlanta to Charlotte rail service can be found here: www.dot.ga.gov/IS/Rail/AtlantatoCharlotte.

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This page was last modified in October 2019.

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