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Old 03-16-2013, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Metropolis
3,435 posts, read 4,325,143 times
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Seems clear to me a Atlanta to Athens rail line is the best way to kick start
the much needed commuter rail system.

Forget the coservative suburbanites and exurbanites, WTH wouldn't a metro
like Atlanta, with an awesome rail network already in place, get it's act together?
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:29 PM
 
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Not many commute between Athens and Atlanta so I wouldn't start there. The most needed corridor is I-75 north.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:36 PM
 
361 posts, read 718,410 times
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Agree with Westau for the most part. I would add that there are several other routes which might be more beneficial than a line out to Athens.

I think Atlanta needs to finish MARTA first. That is, take it out all the way out to Alpharetta and maybe even beyond Exit 11 (Windward Parkway). I also think, based on the traffic I experienced, that extending it south to Peachtree City and Noonan would spur development down the I-85 corridor towards LaGrange and Columbus, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

I never understood why they chose to terminate in at Hartsfield when just as many living south of town fly out of that airport also.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
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search some of the past threads on commuter rail in Atlanta from the past several years and you'll see a great wealth of info discussed on this.

-Cobb is unlikely, because it is so congested. It is the busiest rail freight corridor in town by a larger margin. This is why they originally put more resources in attempting to start the LRT line NW first, before making a big push anywhere that could more easily be served by commuter rail too.

-Athens is not a good place to start, because we no longer have access to the Decatur Belt for the Beltline project and we need a major overhaul of a big bottleneck rail junction called Howell junction.

-MARTA to Newnan and Peachtree City is out of the question as that region is way too sparsely populated to put that much money there. I have trouble enough getting them to accept the idea of a commuter rail stop.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:17 AM
 
Location: East Point
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westau View Post
Not many commute between Athens and Atlanta so I wouldn't start there. The most needed corridor is I-75 north.
that wouldn't be a *commuter* line though. that would be a heavy rail line. commuter rail is generally when you're talking about a city that's 50+ miles away that only has 2-3 stops on the way, and runs less than 10 times a day.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:15 AM
 
727 posts, read 1,209,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryantm3 View Post
that wouldn't be a *commuter* line though. that would be a heavy rail line. commuter rail is generally when you're talking about a city that's 50+ miles away that only has 2-3 stops on the way, and runs less than 10 times a day.
Most serious commuter trains have many stops and send way more than 10 trains a day. They also have express trains.

www.metrarail.com Chicago

mta.info | MTA Long Island Rail Road New York

mta.info | MTA Metro-North Railroad New York

caltrain.com San Francisco


I personally like the line out to Gainesville to start, because it would not require as much track work However eventually we should look at service on all the main railroad corridors leading out of the city.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
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Given that Atlanta-Athens is the best-planned line that actually makes sense as a starter it should probably be the first one done. Lawrenceville, Lilburn and Snellville workers going to Atlanta don't really have any alternatives right now so it would benefit them pretty well. However, the state MUST be committed to running reverse-peak, off-peak and evening service unless they are deliberately trying to destroy transit around Atlanta. Some dinky little 4 round trips peak-direction only system is a HUGE waste, and is not really commuter rail, and will do nothing but give people something to point at as to why transit "doesn't work."
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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The easiest line to get off the ground with the fewer barriers, is the one line the state has made more an effort to get funding for lately.

The secondary Norfolk-Southern tracks to Macon via Griffin.

We have to fix Howell Junction first, before we can go to Gainesville or Athens.

It isn't to say it isn't doable, but there are more obstacles and it just so happens one is very pricey and it needs to happen anyways.

So I guess the question is do you guys want something more shovel ready to get the commuter rail program started, so they can work out some of the management kinks for future routes or do you want something more expensive that will take more time to rolls out with more potential problems?
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
Given that Atlanta-Athens is the best-planned line that actually makes sense as a starter it should probably be the first one done. Lawrenceville, Lilburn and Snellville workers going to Atlanta don't really have any alternatives right now so it would benefit them pretty well. However, the state MUST be committed to running reverse-peak, off-peak and evening service unless they are deliberately trying to destroy transit around Atlanta. Some dinky little 4 round trips peak-direction only system is a HUGE waste, and is not really commuter rail, and will do nothing but give people something to point at as to why transit "doesn't work."
We can't do that, use existing freight tracks, and not disrupt freight service.

The moment we have to rebuild a whole set of tracks, we are really better off going with LRT... because the costs are so high.

I think the original plans called for 6 single direction trips on the Athens-Atlanta line (3 from Athens, 3 starting from Dacula).

It is designed with commuters in mind, to handle the peak traffic. This is actually how many commuter rail systems operate. I know some systems are different in the larger cities, but they offer benefit from left behind railroad tracks that aren't used by freight much or sometimes even at all. The long island railroad is a great example of this.

And it isn't dinky. Those are the times it moves the most amount of people.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: I-20 from Atlanta to Augusta
1,324 posts, read 1,777,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
Given that Atlanta-Athens is the best-planned line that actually makes sense as a starter it should probably be the first one done. Lawrenceville, Lilburn and Snellville workers going to Atlanta don't really have any alternatives right now so it would benefit them pretty well. However, the state MUST be committed to running reverse-peak, off-peak and evening service unless they are deliberately trying to destroy transit around Atlanta. Some dinky little 4 round trips peak-direction only system is a HUGE waste, and is not really commuter rail, and will do nothing but give people something to point at as to why transit "doesn't work."
How about extend it from Athens to Augusta and connect all four research universities with a single line of rail.
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