High Speed Rail rail_map_d3

Published on December 21st, 2012 | by Andrew Meggison

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Atlanta Mayor Wants High Speed Rail Connection With Savannah

 

High speed rail in America is a hot button issue and politicians seem to fall into either love it or hate it camps. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed recently has solidified his place in the love it camp by proposing connecting Atlanta and Savannah with a high-speed rail line.

Opponents of American high speed rail are not against the idea; they concede that high speed rail would be nice, but they see high speed rail as an overly expensive “want” rather than a “need”. Proponents of American high speed rail see it as a cleaner, safer, alternative means of mass transportation that has been both popular and profitable in other developed nations like France or Japan.

Mayor Reed sees high speed rail as an opportunity to connect the state of Georgia. By connecting Atlanta and Savannah with a high speed rail line, that would travel at 200 miles per hour, Atlanta Mayor Reed sees an opportunity to unite the two economies and in his words help Georgia become, “the logistics hub of the Western hemisphere”.  This would allow travels to make the 250 mile, 3.5 hour trip in little more than an hour.

Several high speed rail corridors in the United States have been recently established, including proposed lines near Atlanta. Proposed lines include northeast to Charlotte and Virginia, southwest to New Orleans and southeast to Jacksonville. The city of Savannah is currently not serviced by these high speed plans.

Source: m.savannahnow.com

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison 


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About the Author

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor's Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison



  • http://gravatar.com/garyt1963 Gary Tulie

    I would say the viability of high speed rail varies with the situation.

    The ideal high speed route connects two or more large cities with a substantial amount of traffic between them and is fast enough to beat the airlines on a city centre to city centre basis.

    The French route between Paris and Lyon (later extended to Marseilles and Barcelona) is a near ideal example – a relatively flat route between Paris and Lyon offering an intercity connection to around 15 million people via open countryside of relatively low environmental sensitivity and with few communities in the way. The journey between city centers is faster than by air, and the volume of travelers is very high.

    Other routes are less clear cut such as the proposed high speed route between London to Birmingham in the UK. In this case, the route is packed full of small communities, sites of outstanding beauty and areas of historic and environmental sensitivity. As a result, large sections will have to run through tunnels, and many people will suffer disruption from noise and vibration as well as reduced property values. The proposed costs and embodied emissions of construction make the justification for the project questionable, especially as many commentators consider projected passenger numbers to be substantially above the numbers actually likely to use the route. It is even possible that net cradle to grave emissions for the route might be higher than having the same number of people travel the by air.

    I would therefore say, examine any high speed rail proposal carefully and support it if a strong case is made for the environmental, financial, and social viability of the project. Look for other solutions to traffic and emissions such as developing greater rail freight capacity if the case for high speed rail is weak.

    • Bob Wallace

      HSR doesn’t have to be faster city center to city center than flight. It just needs to be not significantly slower.

      The extra convenience of being able to move from city center to city center, avoiding the hassles of getting to/from the airport is a plus. The extra comfort of lots of leg room, no turbulence, no waiting for a takeoff slot, no holding pattern, no baggage carousel, something to see out the window ….

      Those things are likely to make getting there even slightly slower OK for most.

      It’s too bad we couldn’t give a lot of the people who aren’t supporters of HSR a test ride. I used France’s system this last spring and I fell in love. So much better than flying.

      • Jason Carpp

        My feelings exactly! I was in England a few years ago and got to ride Brit Rail from London to Plymouth, and most places throughout the UK, and I believe it’s better for long distance travel than driving or taking the bus. Driving is fine if you’re only going from one city to the neighbouring city, like if you’re going from Seattle to Kirkland. That’s an easy drive. But from Seattle to Portland, or from Seattle to Vancouver (Canada), then train is the best way to travel.

  • http://MrEnergyCzar.com MrEnergyCzar

    We should of had these already built before we peaked in our growth and production of cheap easy oil… contracting economies don’t built these…

    MrEnergyCzar

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  • Jason Carpp

    I’d love to see high speed railroad train all across North America, not just the United States, but in Canada and in Mexico. From Fairbanks, Alaska to Los Angeles, California, to Mazatlan, Mexico. For long distance travel, it’d be perfect for those who don’t want to drive or fly.

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