Crescent Stations to Receive Upgrades

The Southern Rail Commission said on Monday that three Alabama cities will receive funding to upgrade their Amtrak stations. All are served by the New York-New Orleans Crescent.

Amtrak 4The Commission said the grants are part of $2.4 million in federal funds to be spent for station upgrades in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

The grants include $139,500 for Anniston, $150,000 for Birmingham and $314,457 for Tuscaloosa.

In Anniston, city officials say they will use their grant to extend the platform by 400 feet, to allow Nos. 19 and 20 to load and unload baggage and bicycles.

City manager Kent Davis noted that the Chief Ladiga Trail has been extended into Anniston and cycling signs have been placed on city streets.

The city also has going a project to build a new trailhead and parking lot serving Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail.

“If we make Amtrak more bike friendly as well, it could bring in more cyclists,” Davis said.

The lengthened platform is expected to eliminate the need for double stopping.

The city is in talks with Norfolk Southern, which owns the property on which the platform extension will be installed.

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