The US DOT is awarding a $14.2 million study grant for a proposed high-speed rail line linking Atlanta with Chattanooga, Tenn.. Most of the grant, requested in a joint application by Georgia and Tennessee transportation officials, will be used to explore the environmental impacts of potential routes and station locations.

Rome is on one of several route’s proposed for the service. The grant is part of a $45 million pot of money the feds earmarked to study the high-speed rail technology known as magnetic levitation, which speeds rail cars along on a cushion of air.

Rome DOT Board member David Doss worked with Georgia State Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp on the grant application. A recent feasibility study concluded that the line also could be extended northwest to Nashville, Tenn