Alabama Gov. Silent on Rail Funding Match

The efforts to resume Amtrak service between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, are awaiting word from Gov. Kay Ivey as to whether she supports those efforts.

The project faces a deadline on Thursday for the state to make a funding pledge of $5.35 million as Alabama’s share of the funding.

Resuming intercity rail service along the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans has been a priority of the Southern Rail Commission for the past several years.

Eventually, the Commission wants to see the service extended to Orlando, Florida.

Amtrak’s Sunset Limited served the route until August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina caused several damage to the route’s infrastructure, including the existing Amtrak stations.

Federal funds are expected to pay for most the service restoration, but states along the route must match that funding.

The governors of Louisiana and Mississippi have agreed to providing funding, Ivey has refused to meet with the Commission or to say if she supports or opposes the state match.

If Alabama declines to providing funding, the train will operate no further east than Pascagoula, Mississippi.

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