SRC Touts Endorsements of Gulf Coast Service

The Southern Rail Commission said recently that it has gained support from several Gulf Coast organizations and mayors from cities across the region in support of Amtrak’s plans to begin rail passenger service between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama.

Amtrak wants to begin the service in 2022 but is locked in a dispute with host railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern over what rail infrastructures improvements are needed to host the service.

The intercity passenger carrier recently took its case to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

The Gulf Coast has lacked Amtrak service since August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina damaged the route used by the Sunset Limited between New Orleans and Jacksonville, Florida.

The SRC has been trying since then to get intercity rail service reinstated and has landed federal and state grants to be used for that purpose.

“Restoring passenger service between New Orleans and Mobile is a critical economic driver for our region,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in A prepared statement. “I pledge to work with Amtrak and the railroads to help make the service a reality. We know that to grow, we have to think regionally, and this is a step in connecting New Orleanians with destinations along the Gulf Coast.”

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