ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue committed Wednesday to rally neighboring governors to engage in a discussion of a national, high-speed rail network which would zip trains linking Savannah, Atlanta and Jacksonville with other states.
The current plan only offers a broad outline of the routes, not specifics. That means that some cities like Augusta not on the preliminary routes could still lobby to get a stop, a governor's spokesman said.
As the only Southeastern governor attending a Washington meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Perdue promised to get those from Florida, Alabama and the Carolinas involved, according to Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley.
"If you look at the map, a major chunk of that goes through Georgia," Brantley said. "He certainly felt like he needed to be at the table."
Perdue has ridden high-speed trains in China and Spain during trade missions. Biden has ridden trains daily since entering Congress between Washington and his home in Delaware.
President Obama announced in April that he wanted to accelerate planning for the network similar to the Interstate Highway System begun in the 1950s. The federal government has already set aside $8 billion in stimulus funds for a rail network, and Obama's budget calls for another $5 billion.
"President Obama has handed us an extraordinary