Legislators want to explore reviving the Nancy Hanks Passenger Rail Line

Local leaders looking at ATL to SAV rail

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Right now, if you were to drive from Savannah to Atlanta, it would take you about four-hours depending on traffic. State lawmakers are exploring one option that would cut that travel time in half.

Legislation introduced into the State House aims to create a study committee to look at the possibility of connecting two of Georgia’s largest cities with a high-speed rail that would travel around 200 miles-per-hour, making the trip to Atlanta a 75-minute ride.

We haven’t had a passenger rail connection between Savannah and Atlanta since 1971. That’s right about the time Amtrak came to town, making what was called “The Nancy” obsolete.

House Resolution 50, sponsored by local legislators, aims to create a House Study Committee to look at starting back up a Nancy Hanks Passenger Rail Line from Savannah to Atlanta.

The vision isn’t “The Nancy” of old, but rather a high-speed Nancy with stops in Dublin and Macon that could increase tourism and economic development for the area, according to the measures sponsors.

But it's an idea that's been explored before in recent years, and hasn't gained traction.

Representative Carl Gilliard is hoping to change that with a new study.

“I believe in this tenure, in the next two to four years, we’ll have a great opportunity to at least put it on the forefront,” said Rep. Gilliard.

The committee, should the resolution pass, will consist of five House members, looking at conditions, needs, issues and problems the rail project could face.

The idea of a rail is gaining interest, according to Gilliard.

“There have been several developers independently that have already come forward to say we are ready financially, so all we have to do is provide the logistics and the legalities, and look at the best way to do it for Georgia.”

In addition to potentially increasing tourism and boosting the economy, the resolution says the Savannah to Atlanta rail could improve air quality, save energy, and reduce congestion in the Atlanta metro area.

We’ll be keeping tabs on this resolution and staying in contact with Rep. Gilliard to see if a committee is formed to look into the revival of The Nancy.

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