The Atlanta to Charlotte Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan (PRCIP) is an extension of the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR), which is under development from Charlotte to Washington, D.C. The extension from Charlotte, would travel southeast through portions of South Carolina and into Atlanta. The exact termini of alternative corridor routes will address connectivity to proposed and existing passenger rail stations, airports and other regional transportation services along the corridor. In particular, the project will consider connectivity to the proposed Georgia Multi Modal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (H-JAIA) in Atlanta, and the proposed Charlotte Gateway Station and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Charlotte.
View Route Alternatives
There are six potential route alternatives:
- Southern Crescent corridor (following the existing Norfolk Southern(NS) route);
- CSX Transportation (CSX) between Atlanta and Chester, S.C., via Athens, Ga., and NS route between Chester, S.C., and Charlotte via Rock Hill, S.C.;
- CSX route between Atlanta and Augusta, Ga., and NS route between Augusta and Charlotte via Columbia, S.C.;
- I-85 corridor;
- I-20 and I-77 corridor; and
- Greenfield corridor which offers the opportunity to define a fully grade-separated route alignment that has optimal geometric characteristics for intercity passenger rail service.
Four potential speed options for the route alternatives:
- Conventional passenger rail technology: Top speeds limited to less than 80 miles per hour (mph) on shared track (in line with freight rail policy);
- Emerging services: Top speeds of up to 90 mph to 110 mph on primarily shared freight right-of-way with advanced grade-crossing protection or separation;
- Regional services: Top speeds of up to 125 mph on either shared right-of-way or along a new corridor using diesel-electric technology with grade crossing protection or separation; and
- Core express: Top speeds of up to 220 mph on completely grade-separated, dedicated right-of-way.
Some of these route alternatives were previously defined as a result of a 2008 Feasibility Study completed by the Volpe Center.
As a part of the study, GDOT and FRA will analyze route alternatives, station locations and service technologies including diesel and electrified operations, service frequency and hours of service. Additionally, routes will be evaluated from an environmental perspective to understand the general impacts on the natural, social and economic environments.
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