SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – It’s been 50 years since a passenger train connected Savannah and Atlanta. State Rep. Carl Gilliard recalls the old Nancy Hanks train that started service between the two cities in 1947.
“I think right around 1971 or so was the final part of the Nancy Hanks train going into retirement,” he recalled
Under Amtrak’s 2035 Vision Plan, the company wants to provide rail service from Savannah to Atlanta, on up to Tennessee. It’s one of 30 proposed new routes nationwide all hinging on $80 billion earmarked for Amtrak in President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan.
“I think that it’s perfect timing, and I think that we have an infrastructure on I-16 that’s kind of already in place, and I’m sure technology exceeding itself we can add more value to that,” said Gilliard.
The Democrat says high-speed rail would benefit Savannah twofold, making it faster and cheaper for tourists from Atlanta to get here and spend their money, and for Savannahians to make it to Atlanta.
Gilliard’s bill would set up a committee to study what it would take to make the high-speed rail corridor a reality. He first introduced it back in 2017 and says he hopes it now has the traction it needs to move forward.