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A Regional Rail Vision for Metro Atlanta that
Elevates the Region's Economic Opportunity.

The ATLTRAINS Regional Rail Vision at a Glance

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All Day

Bidirectional Service

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11

Regional Rail Lines

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90

New
Stations

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300+

Miles of Guideway

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97%

On Existing Railroads

With 11 lines and 90 proposed stations, ATL Trains is a vision for a Comprehensive, Connected, Financially Feasible regional rail system for the entire Atlanta Region and its 5+ million residents, and it leverages much of our existing freight rail network to make it happen.

Comprehensive - With over 300 miles of regional rail serving all 12 Atlanta-Region counties that have a freight rail presence, ATL Trains would comprehensively expand the reach of our rail transit network six times over, supporting unprecedented regional mobility for people in counties both large and small.

Connected - Whether travelling a couple of stops or across the Region, ATL Trains is designed to get you there. ATL Trains is strategically positioned to connect many of the Region's activity centers, schools, and historic downtown areas directly, as well as to facilitate transfers into the MARTA Rail System and anchor our multimodal transit network.

Financially Feasible - ATL Trains provides virtually all of the benefits of MARTA Rail for a cost much similar to that of BRT. By leveraging our existing freight rail rights-of-way and investing in the expansion of current freight infrastructure, ATL Trains cuts capital costs by up to 80% per mile compared to those associated with MARTA Rail or Light Rail expansion.

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Thanks for visiting and happy exploring!

---Caleb Stubbs

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Explore The ATL Trains Concept Design

The ATL Trains Vision is not just lines on a map. Instead, it is a technically driven, visionary regional rail system with a detailed concept design to match. As you explore the full concept design below, notice how the ATL Trains System could fit almost entirely within existing railroad and public rights-of-way, dramatically expand track capacity, and anchor a truly regional transit network across Metro Atlanta.

Explore and Navigate the Full ATL Trains Concept Design Below or at the following link.

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Help Spread the Word!
Get Involved

Achieving the ATL Trains Vision is only possible by advocating for it. Join the growing network of transit supporters advocating for the ATL Trains Vision by following these four steps!

 

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Questions or Comments?Connect with Us

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Leave a Comment

Comments (14)

Guest
Feb 10

I love this work, it is absolutely fantastic. It is a very creative vision that like the London overground takes under utilised rail corridors and helps turn them into a core part of the public transport system.


However, I think the limited capacity of the three track mainline through the city will be damaging to its long term success. In that; merging 11 branches into one two track mainline only allows for up to 30 trains an hour, but the practical capacity due to all of the merging would be more in the realm of 24 tph. This is a fantastic frequency if you are in the core of the system, in fact it is right up there with the Elizabeth Line. However, if you live on the edge at or near the end of the line the 30 minute peak or 60 minute off-peak service is not very compelling. This may crimp ridership in the long term if not addressed initially. The gold standard would be to have a 5 track passenger only mainline running through the core, with 4 tracks for ATL Trains and a centre for Amtrak intercity services. This would allow peak hour service of at least every 15 minutes on all branches and off-peak service of every 20 or 30 minutes.


While this is ideal there are other ways to accomplish this more cheaply. The first is to combine and split trains on the more branched northern routes. For instance, in the morning peak at Austell, a 4-car Multiple Unit may arrive from Dallas and couple to another 4-car multiple unit from Villa Rica West Douglas. Modern Schaufernberg couplers can mean this only takes seconds to do, this means that the branches can have double the service without impacting track capacity on the core. This also reduces the drivers hours required per revenue mile. This could require longer platforms (200m/670 feet) on the core of the network, to run longer trains to avoid overcrowding. A service every 30 minutes off-peak and every 15 minutes peak is far more compelling than one at half the frequency.


If the above was not possible or in conjunction with it, implementing CBTC (Communications based train control) rather than CTC on the core of the network from Bolton-Moore Mills to Atlanta Airport East/West would allow more frequent service, up to 40 trains per hour, this could enable peak service of up to every 20 minutes on all branches and off-peak service around every 40 minutes.


If both solutions were implemented services could be run every 10 minutes on all branches in the peak without the need for a 4-track core through the city.


Hope this helps.


All the best I would love to see this project implemented!

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Caleb Stubbs
Caleb Stubbs
Feb 12
Replying to

Hi! Really appreciate your insights on line frequency / capacity and would absolutely love to discuss / brainstorm further. Please email me at contact@atltrains.com. Thanks - Caleb

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Guest
Jan 16

I would love to see more connectivity in the neighborhoods folks go to for restaurants/bars/venues such as EAV/Edgewood/L5P, but a very exciting and well thought out plan for the necessity of expanded transit in the city. Let's see if we can get NFS and CSX on board, and hopefully we will see a reality like this in the future.

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Guest
Jan 14

This is not a little rinky-dink idea, this plan is vivid and detailed. Metro-Atlanta leaders are buffoons if they don't push for this and get behind it. Well done Caleb. I'm going to speak this into this existence that this plan will come to fruition.

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Guest
Jan 12

Have you shared your vision with Brightline? In my opinion for this to have any shot in GA we will have to go the private route. Brightline has the capitol to get this done in GA.

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Guest
Dec 11, 2023

Love this idea, if it ever gets realized it will transform Atlanta to becoming one of the most influential regions in the US. Just wish there was a station for GA Tech between Atlanta Central and Centennial. Also think the network design should be in the form of the type F network diagram seen in the image attached in order to enhance through-running capacity and frequency as well as connectivity throughout the region.



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Guest
Jan 14
Replying to

Looks like Centennial station is Georgia Tech to me. Also, they are proposing to use existing right of way. F is not possible. There used to be an abandoned line that looped the city but it became a trail.

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Guest
Feb 19
Replying to

I do agree. There should be a connector line just like 285 if not more than 1 that connects all the lines. This would solve the issue of having to go to the central station to switch lines, drastically saving time, and reduce the need of a car.

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Guest
Dec 11, 2023

I think it's important to address accessibility and considering fully step-free accessibility on every station across the network, which is a feature across London's Elizabeth Line and Tube lines as well as platform screen-doors on every underground station as a great safety and equity measure. Level-boarding and standardized digital wayfinding signage and screens would also be crucial for the success of this regional rail network. Would be nice if you could write about it as a potential standardized feature throughout this system, that would appeal a lot to commuters who are in need of extra mobility assistance such as wheelchairs, walkers and strollers but also those who are interested in station design and wayfinding.

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atlpeace1000
Oct 30, 2023

Celebrating in Atlanta: City of Peace.


Hello Caleb. "THREE CHEERS" to your vision for a brighter future! I join with other to say "CONGRATS" to your work, and also ask "How may I assist in development of your new urban pattern?" It's easy for me to see you as a new era Bucky Fuller (his work was referenced in the 1968 edition of GA Tech Alumni mag).


Although I will never fight to support you and/or what you aspire to do (because that would imply the need for, or use of weapons and violence), I will however, do something better. I will figuratively work in the garden with you, so to speak, and use tools like rakes, trowels, hoses, buckets, shovels, fertilizers, insecticides, and pickers to help you prepare for an abundant harvest for the Beloved Community.


Success with ATLtrains will bring new degrees of peace and healing to metro Atlanta (much needed). Not enough people know that horrible traffic is a serious health threat to everyone. Did you know that more spousal abuse, child abuse and pet abuse occurs in the suburbs because so many grownups get stressed the more they LIVE in traffic daily?


When one gets their annual Car Emmissions, at the top of that document is the estimated amount of commuter miles metro Atlantans drive daily. Currently it amounts to more than 128,000,000 miles daily which is greater that the distance from the Earth to the Sun; DAILY.


And then there is the pollution issue. The USA exported the auto-addiction to "developing nations" like China & India. Since 'Developed Nations' like the USA are setting such a bad example, then what does the future hold?


How about we partner to bring greater hope to Atlanta: City of Peace, Georgia: The Peace State, the USA and World?

Caleb, will you sign our petition and help us 'win' with our initiative?


"All Aboard the Peace Train"

www.ATLpeaceTrain.net

Peace in...

ALL,

John R. Naugle

President & CEO - ATLANTA: City of Peace, Inc. (ACP)

Board of Directors- The Gandhi Foundation of USA (GFUSA)






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Guest
Oct 27, 2023

please create a mailing list so we can keep up-to-date with your progress.

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Guest
Oct 18, 2023

I've been aware of this concept for the past year or so and love it. I'm very grateful that you're sticking with it and trying to increase its exposure, Caleb. It seems like a pipe-dream but I'm sure the BeltLine felt the same way in 1999. We need more people with the right credentials like you helping guide the development vision for the ATL Metro. Please keep us all in the loop on how you're working to increase the exposure of this concept and how we can help.

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Guest
Oct 17, 2023

Gretings, I find this to be a well thought out proposal oerall, but I would propose several small additions.


  1. Include overlays on the "Explore ATL Trains" for the concurrent MARTA Rail system, with nearby stations with which one may exchange between the proposed ATL Trains and existing MARTA Rail. Furthermore, one could also include the Streetcar East extension with possible areas/stations for changing between services.

  2. Super-regional stretch proposals (making use of rights-of-way used by the ATL Trains passenger rights-of-way) of:


    ~~ An "Atlanta to Athens" line, perhaps extending via Dacula to Athens


    ~~ An "Atlanta to Macon" line, perhaps extending via Locust Grove to Macon

  3. A slightly unbalanced through-running proposal of various lines as an alternative scheme:

~~ Ex, Dacula-Moreland/South Coweta, Buford-Senola, Canton-Hampton, Convers-Union City (Or alternatively, a direct rail connection is built between Eastlake and Atlanta Central Stations to allow for the Convers line to run directly to Villa-Rica and/or Dallas, with interchange stations built conjoining to several MARTA Rail stations along that combined route; an extension of this could allow for a connection to Whitehall without passing through Atlanta Central, allowing for routes such as Dacula directly to Airport/Union City through Fernbank), Dallas-Union City, and Villa Rica-Morrow/Southlake.

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