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What Should Georgia’s Rail System Look Like in 2050?

Georgia Department of Transportation Seeking Input for State Rail Plan

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is seeking input into the future of rail in Georgia via an online survey. Results of the survey will be used to update the Georgia State Rail Plan, which was last adopted in 2015. The new plan will articulate Georgia’s vision, goals, and needs for freight and passenger rail service in the state through 2050 and enable the Department to implement a more efficient and effective approach to integrate passenger and freight rail elements into the state of Georgia’s larger multi-modal transportation framework.

Stakeholder participation is fundamental in obtaining input to inform the plan in several areas including safety, community impacts, passenger rail service, and freight rail. The feedback generated by this outreach will help the Department identify potential rail-related economic development benefits to the state and will be integrated with the Georgia Statewide Transportation Plan (SWTP) and Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan (SSTP).

Georgia’s rail system is a vital component of Georgia’s thriving economy by safely connecting industries, ports and people. Georgia has the largest rail network in the Southeast, with over 4,600 miles of active rail lines. More than 100 million tons of freight are shipped annually by rail in Georgia, removing 5 million trucks from the state’s highway system each year. GDOT owns 465 miles of operational rail lines, which it leases to six short line operators. In 2018, GDOT secured over $7 million for five different projects to rehabilitate sections of state-owned rail lines through the U.S. Department of Transportation Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI).

GDOT continues to improve the safety of the Georgia rail system through administering the federally-funded Railway-Highway Crossings (Section 130) Program to improve the safety of railroad crossings throughout the state.

Visit the project website here for more information and to fill out the survey online. The survey is offered in both English and Spanish and is available through January 10, 2020. Any questions or comments can be sent to railprogram@dot.ga.gov.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Daniel

    December 28, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Having lived in Europe and Asia where the passenger rail service is STATE WIDE, I believe Georgia Rail system should start here. If you look at a map of Georgia each major city from north, south,center, East and west should be connected. Just like the interstates are connected: Major station in Rome to the north, Atlanta already connected, major station in Augusta to the east, major station at Columbus to the west, major station at Macon in the center, major station at Savannah along the coast and at last MAJOR station in Valdosta to the south. By doing this citizens of Georgia and visitors will have access to all the major cities in Georgia. This is how countries in Europe and Asia travel via rail. Most of these countries are roughly the size of many states in America. This system can be totally independent of Amtrak which is mostly state to state. Talk about job creation modernization of cities in Georgia, hell long time ago my granddad said he was able catch the train from Valdosta to Atlanta or Jacksonville on a regular basis.

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