Here we go again. I won’t hold my breath on one actually being built.

Is a Marietta line in and the Athens line out for commuter rail?

No way, say Atlanta-Athens “Brain Train” advocates.

But transportation leaders were fired up Thursday because that’s a plan that could possibly be implemented with newly identified funding.

A new study shows that a rail line relieving the I-75 corridor could be a lot cheaper than the line through the Emory University corridor to Gwinnett County and Athens.


  1. StevePerkins says:

    “Emory University” corridor? I thought that “Morsberger” was the surname of the developer who bought up all the land along that corridor, and then launched an astroturf campaign promoting the rail lane. What kind of last name is “University”?!?

  2. Icarus says:

    I think moving ahead with the Marietta line makes a lot of sense. The up front capital costs are realtively low, there’s a dedicated source of revenue from a similar source to fund any operating deficits, and the success of the CCT express bus system into downtown shows there is a need for mass transit in the corridor.

    Seems like a low cost/low risk way to move from studies to seeing if this idea will work.

  3. BubbaRich says:

    I’d use the “Brain Train” more, since I attend Tech and Emory and have friends and fambly in Gwinnett, and I only go to Cobb County about once a year to meet with my lawyer. But aside from my personal benefit, I think they ought to get going on a Marietta line.

    How successful is the CCT express service compared to the GRTA express elsewhere?

  4. Icarus says:

    I personally would favor the Brain Train as well, but everyone involved appears afraid to commit the coin that is required for what really is an experiment. For the reason of the cheaper up front cost, I’m fine with the Marietta route.

    As for CCT compared to GRTA, CCT has been in operation for almost 20 years, if I’m not mistaken. GRTA is not quite 10, and was based on the success of CCT. Beyond that, I’ve got no real knowledge, but it doesn’t stop me from sharing it.

  5. Bill Simon says:

    Ya know, if you have a “Brain Train”, that means one end of the route is the “Brain-End” and the other end is the “Arse-End”…I just WONDER which “end” Athens would be considered…?

  6. drjay says:

    had it existed 15 years ago i would have used a train from atl to athens-all the time-seems like a great idea–esp. if uga ever bans freshman from having cars

  7. Flatpickpaul says:

    Mr. Perkins,

    The Clifton Corridor, which is home to Emory University, the Emory Clinics & Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the American Cancer Society, the Veterans Administration Medical Center and other organizations, is the largest activity center in Metro Atlanta that has no direct access to the Interstate or MARTA.

    There are over 28,000 employees in the Corridor who must travel two and four lane arterial roads to get to work. A recent study showed over 46,000 cars travel through the Corridor daily and the major intersections surrounding it are already at or near failure during peak times. Both Emory and the CDC have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on state of the art facilities with many millions more planned over the next decade.

    Emory is the third largest employer in Atlanta with a $4.2 billion annual economic impact to the region. While Emory and other entities along the Corridor have made substantial investments in alternative transportation programs through its Clifton Corridor Transportation Management Association, including shuttle buses, car and van pools, free MARTA passes, park and ride programs with area shopping malls, Zipcar and other incentives to reduce single occupancy vehicles, it is not nearly enough. Because this area is surrounded by an historic residential neighborhood, off-road transit options are very limited.

    However, the CSX rail corridor runs right through the Emory and CDC campuses, providing an ideal opportunity for passenger rail along the railroad right of way. As surveys of Emory and CDC employees have shown, the majority of their employees live in an area that could be served by the proposed Athens to Atlanta or “Brain Train” line, thus potentially removing thousands of cars each day from the congested roads serving the Clifton Corridor.

    The continued economic vitality of the Clifton Corridor as well as the Atlanta region will depend greatly on our quickly implementing transit alternatives to the automobile and the Brain Train is but one of several critical linkages needed.

  8. netdragon says:

    I’m in favor of the Marietta-Atlanta line and Cumberland definitely needs to be connected (I live in Smyrna, so I know). I don’t think with the cheap cost of the Marietta rail it will have any bearing on the Atlanta-Athens line. You should probably support the Marietta rail, because with that out of the way, there will be less things for them to consider and more likely they’ll focus on you rail.

Comments are closed.