by Ian Samuels

Escalator at Peachtree Center Station and MARTA map

Peachtree Center is one of my favorite train stations in Atlanta. Not only is it Atlanta’s deepest subway station but it also integrates really well with surrounding buildings. The lack of massive bus bays and parking lots typically seen at almost every MARTA station makes the compact entrances to the station feel like you are entering the subway in a city like New York or Chicago.

Peachtree Street Entrance to Peachtree Center Station

The station offers an easy connection to the Mall at Peachtree Center if you want to grab a quick lunch and GSU’s Aderhold Learning Center and College of Law. This station also serves as the hub for tourism in Atlanta with many of Atlanta’s most famous attractions and largest hotels within a close proximity. It is fascinating to watch tourists from all across the world get off trains at this Peachtree Center, suitcases in hand emerging from the station seeing Downtown Atlanta maybe for the first time ever. Something that fascinates me, even more, is a part of MARTA history you can easily overlook while checking your phone going down the station’s steep escalator. At the escalator serving the joint entrance of the post office and train station hangs a MARTA system map rarely seen.

MARTA map up close

The map depicts the same lines and stations present today but with an additional five lines lines with no stations on them. The Tucker North Dekalb, Northwest, Hapeville, Proctor Creek lines, plus one Busway are all depicted. They were planned train lines that never came to fruition. Looking at the direction of the lines on the map, MARTA would serve many more communities today if even just one of the lines was built out as planned. I can only imagine what Atlanta would be like today if train service was expanded past the four lines available today. Unfortuantly, none of these lines were ever built and today MARTA has no plans to expand rail services in these areas. Still, this piece of history is a reminder of what could have been of Atlanta’s public transportation network.