A rendering of the Downtown Atlanta multimodal terminal from four years ago.

In 2013, an animated video and renderings of a proposed multimodal terminal at The Gulch – the dead zone of parking lots and railroad viaducts near Philips Arena – caused plenty of excitement, but the plans for the $1.5 billion project went nowhere.

Now, some state lawmakers are advocating for the multimodal terminal plan to be revived. According to the AJC, the state Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing on the terminal on Aug. 3.

Supporters say the terminal would serve as the hub for MARTA, regional passenger train service, local and regional buses and an expanded Atlanta Streetcar service. It could also draw more projects to the area near the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Philips Arena and Georgia World Congress Center,

“For the world-class city we are, for us not to have a Union Station in our city is really tragic,” said Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, the committee chairman. “I think we can do it. We just have to have the political will and courage to make it happen.”

The railroads – CSX and Norfolk Southern – are noncommittal, with CSX regional vice president Craig Camuso telling the AJC that the state must update the four-year-old study of the project to account for new developments before his company would weigh-in.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.