For the average non-helicopter-owning Georgian outside of Atlanta, a trip to the state capital usually involves a traffic-filled hellride along the interstate. But, according to The Augusta Chronicle, mayors from across the state are interested in pursuing federal grants to build a train network that could prompt an "All aboard for Atlanta!" cry. At a recent panel discussion, the mayors of Augusta, Macon and Columbus voiced support for the creation of transit infrastructure between their cities and ours. Led by the mayor of Macon, the influential group is advocating not for more lanes on the interstates, but instead for a rail network criss-crossing the Peach State, which seems like a startlingly progressive idea.
Despite what seems to be widespread support for a comprehensive train network, the mayors acknowledged that so far there is little momentum for such a thing coming from the folks under Atlanta's Gold Dome. Instead, according to the article, the mayors discussed strategies for leveraging federal funds to accomplish the projects. For long-term operation, there was even talk of self-sufficiency; according to the August Chronicle, the mayor of Columbus cited a study that a rail link between her city and Atlanta would be economically viable and even a boon to both cities.
Once a small minority, those participating in discussions of rail connectivity are quickly becoming a vocal presence in municipal governments across the state. Let's remember that this state once grew and prospered from railroad connections. Could the day come again when a trip to Atlanta for many Georgians can be accomplished on two rails?
· Outside Atlanta, Georgia cities see connections as the way to leverage prosperity [The Augusta Chronicle]
· Atlanta-to-Macon Rail Service Urged by Mayor [Curbed Atlanta]