Amtrak is expected to return to the Gulf Coast within 24 months, linking a new passenger rail between New Orleans and Mobile. U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., announced Friday the awarding of a $33 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to fund infrastructure and capacity improvements that will enable Amtrak’s Gulf Coast return.
The service has been suspended for 14 years since Hurricane Katrina wrecked much of the rail line in 2005. “This is huge,” said John Robert Smith, chairman of Transportation for America and former mayor of Meridian, Miss., who has long pushed for the restoration of the rail service along the Gulf Coast. “This has been such a labor of commitment from so many people. It’s not only good for the coastal South, but it’s good for the country. This kind of success can be replicated in every corner of the country.” The $33 million award through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program will go to the Southern Rail Commission (SRC), a 21-member group that promotes passenger rail service and pursues funding opportunities to support its mission. Read more: https://www.al.com/news/2019/06/amtrak-set-to-return-to-gulf-coast.html