Return of the Nancy???? (sort of) : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

Below is an article I saw on another message board. It appears the State of Georgia is getting serious about starting Amtrak service on 2 lines out of Atlanta with one of them being the former CofG to Macon. At the very least it looks like the line through Griffin is about to receive a major overhaul. It would be great to see daily service arriving and departing from the old Terminal station in Macon. As for the train, now if we could just get a round end observation car and maybe a dome coach............ <

Summary:ATLANTA -- The Georgia Rail Passenger Authority Wednesday approved a state budget request of $44.6 million, primarily to ratchet up work on two planned commuter rail lines linking Atlanta with Athens and Macon.

The money would be combined with federal matching funds of $178.9 million for a total of $223.5 million in fiscal 2002, a record investment in Georgia's fledgling efforts to launch passenger-rail service by 2004.

The request, which must be approved by Gov. Roy Barnes and the General Assembly to become reality, represents a huge increase over the $7 million in state funds for passenger rail in the 2001 budget, which took effect last month.

"This is serious money," said authority member E.H. Culpepper of Athens. "This will be the test of the commitment of the legislature and the governor's office."

The largest share of the proposed funding -- $127 million -- would go toward the Atlanta-to-Athens line. Of that, $23.8 million would come from the state and $103.2 million from the federal government.

Another $68 million -- $12 million from the state and $56 million in federal funds -- would go toward the route connecting Atlanta and Macon via Griffin.

Lesser amounts would go toward a proposed high-speed rail line between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn.; design and construction of a passenger terminal in downtown Atlanta that could accommodate trains and buses; and to pay consultants working on the projects.

While none of the money would be earmarked for a proposed network of inter-city passenger rail lines, longer-range plans call for extending the Atlanta-to-Macon line to Savannah in 2007 and to Jacksonville, Fla., in 2008. Service between Atlanta and Augusta is scheduled to begin in 2010.

The lack of immediate plans to extend passenger rail service beyond Northeast and Middle Georgia could cost the projects the support of lawmakers from other parts of the state.

But authority member Timothy McFalls of Augusta said rail supporters hope to convince those legislators to be patient and wait for their time to come.

"We're trying to look at what's the most logical, cost-effective thing to do versus spreading some dollars around," he said. "There's more than enough time for us to get to everyone's city."

-- Bryan Smith (, August 24, 2000

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