The Zombie Train

It’s no longer the brain train. It’s been dead so many times and continues to walk, it is the zombie train.

The once-left-for-dead commuter rail line from Macon to Atlanta continues to have fresh life breathed into it, with vocal support from the governor and the state’s transportation commissioner.

Thursday, representatives from governments along the proposed line, as well as a possible connector from Atlanta to Athens, met to discuss rail possibilities.

Proponents calling themselves “Georgians for the Brain Train” put the summit together in Hampton, their name a reference to the connection between the University of Georgia in Athens and Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

15 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Why is it called the “Brain Train” if it goes from Atlanta to Athens. It would seem that a true “Brain Train” would probably just go from Georgia Tech across town to Emory.

  2. Icarus says:

    “would probably just go from Georgia Tech across town to Emory.”

    …because we don’t need a train for awkward, underweight, acne prone dudes to cross town and meet ugly, hairy women. We already have Marta for that.

  3. StevePerkins says:

    Proponents calling themselves “Georgians for the Brain Train” put the summit together in Hampton

    TRANSLATION: Emory Morsberger decided to take his family out for dinner in Macon, and issued a press release about it.

  4. brhuggins says:

    My dad has been involved in this Brain Train project for years now…it’s a great idea, and the money is already there from the fed.gov…$109 million which we are in danger of losing. GDOT has issues with giving up transpo authority and the project is mired down by infighting. The people need to be more vocal in their support for a transportation alternative down the I75 southern corridor. Get cars off the road and butts on the train!!!

  5. Icarus says:

    “Icarus,

    You are so cute when you get jealous.”

    No Doug. I only get even more attractive than normal when I’m drinking heavily. (followed by the ability to Dance and/or sing).

  6. Trackboy1 says:

    Icarus, walk through the gym at Emory on a weekday late afternoon, and you’ll retract that ugly, hairy crack.

  7. Game Fan says:

    People with brains don’t need to go to Macon. We have massage parlors right here in Atlanta. I hope you guys didn’t take that stuff too seriously.

  8. Flatpickpaul says:

    Mr. Perkins, it is comments like yours that make Georgia the laughing stock of so many other states.

    I worked for more than three months on last week’s summit. It was my idea from the beginning, and the group including the steering committee, including the sponsors (HOK, Cousins Properties, Minerva Properties, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Siemens and the Henry Chamber) supported it. All of the feedback has been incredibly productive and we’re going to move ahead.

    Paul D. Snyder

  9. Chris says:

    and we’re going to move ahead

    right, because the taxpayers haven’t been shat on enough recently by rent-seeking developers and their political toadies.

    I’ll take being a laughing-stock if it means Gwinnett isn’t shelling out several millions of dollars on a rail line no one will use just to make a–holes money.

    Bite me.

  10. StevePerkins says:

    A paid consultant on the project (I’ll be polite enough to not name names) started an email thread with me earlier today, suggesting that my comment was “inappropriate”. He also asked that I apologize to Mr. Morsberger and and a certain GDOT official, for “causing harm to a great cause they believe in”. I am actually not paraphrasing.

    At the outset, the comment above is clearly sarcasm. I hold no ill will toward Mr. Morsberger personally, and mention him solely on account of his efforts to become a public face for the cause. I am obviously aware that the summit in Hampton was not a family dinner. I’m sure there were some other developers and Chamber types in attendance as well! The dig is directed at the lack of grassroots support outside of business leaders.

    Secondly, I’m not sure what to say about any government official having paid consultants demand apologies from constituents who speak against a project. That is a level of deep-fried arrogance that’s just off the charts even by Georgia political standards.

    Lastly, I tried explaining to the guy that my opposition is not as firm as it was two years ago, that I’m willing to give the other side a fair hearing, and that I could potentially be brought around. For any professional making their living in political communication and advocacy, an opening like that is what you live for. No dice, though… it went in one ear and out the other.

    This illustrates my issue with the handful of Chamber types and left-wingers who occasionally speak up for this proposal. Their two approaches used are either: (1) “Business leaders get what they want from the Legislature, so get on the bandwagon because it’s inevitable”, or (2) “You’re a knuckle-dragging idiot if you question the finances”.

    It should require no explanation why the latter approach is poor advocacy. As for the former, ask Hillary Clinton how well the “inevitability” strategy is playing these days. With the federal money on its way to bail out mortgages, and the political consultants spending their time chastising average people on blogs, maybe things aren’t as “inevitable” as I originally thought.

    The thing is, I’m STILL open to giving the other side a fair listen. Just drop the arrogance and condescension, and focus more on the hard finances instead.

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