9 February 2009
Chickamauga Republican Sen. Mullis offered "Plane Train" legislation last week through Senate Resolution 117, which supports the creation of a magnetic levitating, or maglev, train connecting Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta to the Chattanooga Municipal Airport.
If passed, this would be the first maglev of its kind in the U.S. and second in the World.
"Creating the Plane Train would make Georgia a worldwide leader in transportation innovation," Mullis said. "This would alleviate many of the mass transportation issues between Chattanooga and Atlanta, while also improving regional and local economies."
A maglev train is a form of transportation that levitates, guides, and propels vehicles using electromagnetic force. This method of transportation is much faster, safer and cleaner than wheeled mass transit systems, potentially reaching velocities comparable to turboprop and jet aircraft.
China has had a maglev transit, the Shanghai Maglev Train, since 2000. The Shanghai Transrapid Maglev Line is the world's first high-speed commercial commuter system, which can reach speeds of up to 300 mph using state-of-the-art electromagnetic levitation technology.
Mullis' resolution seeks to establish this same state-of-the-art technology in Georgia. The resolution passed with an overwhelming majority in committee last week.
"A Maglev high-speed connection between Chattanooga and Atlanta would be beneficial for both communities as it would increase economic development, bring more people to the underutilized Chattanooga airport and relieve congestion at Atlanta's busy airport," said U.S. Congressman Zach Wamp, a Republican from Tennessee. "Regional infrastructure investment is an important component for getting federal support for maglev. This could be a national model for other cities to help alleviate overcrowding in land-locked areas. An Atlanta-Chattanooga link could ultimately take high-speed rail through Nashville to Chicago and open up a South to Midwest route for an intermodal mass transit system to grow the U.S. economy and help our nation be more competitive."
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world's busiest airport, serving 250,000 passengers daily. It provides Georgia with $53.6 billion in total economic impact a year.
While 80 percent of the U.S. population is within a two-hour flight from Atlanta, many residents in North Georgia and visitors to the state say traffic is too congested and that it often delays safe travel to the airport.
Sen. Mullis has maintained that constructing a high-speed train will be much cheaper than building a new airport to serve the state's northern region.
State Sen. Jeff Mullis, a Republican from Chickamauga, represents Senate District 53, which includes Walker, Chattooga and Dade counties and portions of Catoosa County. He can be reached by mail at 212 English Ave., Chickamauga GA 30707; on his local phone at 706.375.1776; by mail at his Capitol address at 421-A State Capitol, Atlanta GA 30334; at his Capitol phone at 404.656.0057; by email at email@example.com.
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