Northwest Corridor – Beltline Feasibility Study

CSX Freight Corridor – Huff to Armour Rail and NS from Howell Mill to Armour Rail // Subarea 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Completing the Northwest BeltLine is a key objective for the Atlanta BelLine, and will close the 22 mile BeltLine loop by connecting the Westside Trail to the Northeast Trail.  Atlanta BeltLine’s engineering and real estate teams are working together to investigate alignment alternatives for both trail and transit. The procurement process to select and hire a consultant to finalize the trail alignment for both trail and transit will begin in March of this year with the posting of Request for Qualifications solicitations for engineering consultants.  The trail and transit consultants will be procured and contracted separately but will be working seamlessly together to define the corridor alignment.  We anticipate funding the trail study with TAD dollars, and the transit study with Federal Transit Authority grant funding.


The Northwest corridor presents unique challenges because the existing rail corridors in this area are in use.  The CSX corridor starting from approximately Huff Road to the MARTA Armour Rail Yards is one option; the other is the Norfolk Southern (NS) corridor starting approximately from Howell Mill Road and ending at the MARTA Amour Rail Yards.  While we will study alignments alongside the existing rail corridor, particularly for the transit alignment, the preferred alignment for trail will likely be a better experience for users if it does not run adjacent to active rail lines.  Atlanta Beltline will be investigating creative alternatives to assemble the real estate for this corridor.  The work will include repurposing existing road and sidewalk infrastructure, like the in-progress Westside Trail Segment 3 conversion of Marietta Boulevard.  Using land adjacent to water ways such as the completed Tanyard Creek segment is another possibility.  We are also actively working with property owners in this region, particularly where large tracks of land are available with limited curb cuts or driveways.


This study will examine both alignments and assess the feasibility of the BeltLine transit co-existing with freight corridor operations then make a recommendation on the preferred alignment. Length of corridor: 4.4 Miles

Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail and corridor feasibility study area map
Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail and corridor feasibility study area map


Project Status

  • Held a meeting in September to confirm transfer of FTA funds with Region IV staff. Reallocation of $2.8M in FTA funds has been approved and is being documented with an amendment.

Project Timeline

Mar 2021 (Target)
Post RFQ for Trail Work
Post RFQ for Transit Work (contingent upon FTA transfer of funding)