Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Few show up for Atlanta maglev meeting

And what exactly were they expecting on a Tuesday evening?

HSR promoters need a bit of “out of the box” thinking. For one thing, nobody is coming out on a work night to talk about some impossible sounding transport system. Remember that many folks out there have only ever heard one side of the story.

Are there ways to meet folks in shopping malls? comign in and out of ball games? No, they may not want to talk then, but it might be an opportunity to slip a slick handout in somebody’s hand.

Is there a way to get on college campuses? Younger folks are more open to the message. Just a tought. Heck, I could be all wrong.

Here is part of a rather gloomy but comprehensive story from the typically supportive Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The consultants pointed out how high speed rail — up to 200 mph on flat, open stretches — could whisk passengers from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Chattanooga’s airport in an hour.

They talked about whether it would be a typical steel-wheel rail system or a maglev track. They spoke of travel times, of easements, of elevations, of all the fascinating pylon in the sky elements of gee-whiz rail technology.

They did not speak about where Georgia, unable to fully fund some transportation projects that are already approved, would get the money to build about 120 miles of track and buy cars and locomotives.

It isn’t their job to find the money; their charge is to spend the federal money Georgia was about to lose if it didn’t launch the study, which will take up to three years.

Costs will vary with the route, but Karl Schaarschmidt, who has built rail systems throughout the world, including the original MARTA lines, said a San Diego to San Francisco high-speed rail project is pegged at $42 million per mile, an average leavened somewhat by the ease of building through central California.

Using the California costs, that would put the Georgia project at $5 billion.

David Doss, a DOT board member and enthusiastic supporter of maglev rail, knows that’s a big number.

Well, it may be a big number, but let’s compare it to the total waste of spending another dime on highways that are clogged the moment they open.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

One Response

  1. Kelly Hinson says:

    I would like to re-open this option for ATL. It is necessary for ATL to start thinking ahead in a more intelligent manner. We spend too much money on roads and bridges while increasing pollution and waste with every decision. RALLY

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September 2007


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