The Loggerhead Sea Turtle Constellation connects the Palmetto state from the Atlantic coast to the Appalachian mountains. The initial line connects the state capital, Columbia, with the one of the largest tourist destinations in the South, Charleston. Once this initial line is complete, it will give residents and state officials in Columbia rail access to Charleston and Amtrak’s Silver Meteor and Palmetto line connecting to the Atlantic Coast Service from Boston to Savannah, Georgia. Eventually, South Carolina could extend this line to Greenville connecting with Amtrak’s Crescent service connecting New York with Atlanta and New Orleans. This plan provides three primary urban areas in the state to connect, improve real estate values, incentivize construction in smaller cities, and connects three Amtrak lines within the state. Imagine what you could do when traveling the 112 miles from Columbia to Charleston by train in less than an hour!
Consider the possibilities for tourism, business, or recreational, comfortable, low-carbon travel from Charleston to Columbia, and eventually to Greenville. This could help presidential candidates reach more South Carolinians in the future. It is also something South Carolinians should support for clean-tech jobs in construction and maintenance, and to support a clean-tech economy for the new decade and beyond. From rolling hills to Atlantic beaches, and twinkling gems of cities, the Sea Turtle Constellation will connect South Carolinians with rail in the Palmetto State and beyond like never before.
It will reduce carbon emissions from car and bus travel, which is good for the planet, loggerhead sea turtles, and help South Carolinians be more connected with contacts, family and friends in nearby cities, as well as neighboring states.
The initial phase of 112 miles from Charleston to Columbia would cost around $14.9 billion and could generate $132 billion in economic benefits to the state. Travelers can transfer to the existing Amtrak lines at Charleston, Columbia, or Greenville for connections to North Carolina and Georgia, unlocking multiple corridors of regional travel possibilities.
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