Preferred route selected for the high speed rail line between Atlanta and Chattanooga

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USA: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a Tier I combined Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) for the High Speed Ground Transportation (HSGT) project that will connect Atlanta to Chattanooga. 

The chosen route includes eight rail stations and is estimated to take 88 minutes to travel from the first to the last station along the corridor. The route will begin on the eastside of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) at the proposed HJAIA/Southern Crescent Station and end at a proposed downtown Chattanooga station.

“This combined FEIS and ROD is a product of nine years’ work from FRA and its state partners,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Heath Hall. “The administration is working diligently to remove barriers, which slow down the environmental process so that people can get to work rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.”

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) studied the corridor as part of Georgia’s 1997 Intercity Rail Plan, which recommended further study – specifically with an emphasis on high-speed rail service. During the scoping process of the study, GDOT and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) identified 15 unique corridors between Atlanta and Chattanooga. GDOT and TDOT then subjected those corridors to a screening process and ultimately narrowed down three corridors for the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.

The FEIS/ROD provides information on train technology, maximum operating speeds and station location options. However, decisions on these issues, as well as the exact alignment within the preferred corridor, will be part of a Tier II NEPA study, if additional funding is secured.

Atlanta to Chattanooga HSGT FEIS ROD 4