Atlanta, GA Brett Harrell, a member of the Georgia State House of Representatives, highlights the success of freight rail in supporting Atlanta’s growing population, and calls on policymakers to get rail policies right, in an op-ed for the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“Atlanta is one of America’s fastest growing cities with its population slated to reach 8.6 million by 2050 (up from about 4.6 million currently). This growth has many implications for the region, especially our transportation networks. More people mean more congestion and more roadway deterioration.

It’s in this context that I write to highlight our region’s freight railroads, like Norfolk Southern and CSX, which play an often unseen but key role in getting Georgia goods made and to market.”

Harrell cautions Georgia lawmakers against supporting new restrictions on privately owned and funded rail companies.

“While railroads are a success story for the region, current re-regulation proposals at the federal level could undermine this picture. Georgia’s lawmakers in Congress should oppose such shortsighted proposals, including rate caps and compelling railroads to turn over their traffic to competitors. Today’s rail regulations already work, allowing rail companies to earn what it takes to maintain world-class infrastructure.

As Atlanta plans for a bright economic future, transportation leaders at all levels of government should recognize the advantages of rail, opposing policies that would contract and undermine the rail network when we need it the most.”

Read the Full Op-ed.