High-speed rail routes between Atlanta, Chattanooga studied

ATLANTA (AP) – The Georgia Department of Transportation has conducted a study examining three potential routes for a high-speed train service between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

News outlets report the department believes the best-performing route would be along Interstate 75, with eight stations, including one in Cartersville, at an estimated cost of $8.76 billion. The ride would take about 88 minutes and have an estimated ridership of nearly 12,000 by 2040.

A stop in Rome, Georgia would boost predicted ridership, but would bring the estimated cost to $9.81 billion and affect more parkland and wetlands.

GDOT is scheduling public information open houses in mid-November in Atlanta, Chattanooga and Dalton, Georgia.

After receiving public comments, GDOT and its Tennessee counterpart will prepare a final environmental impact statement with a decision on the preferred route.