$325 billion transportation bill could spur Gulf Coast Amtrak line

December 7, 2015

By Casey Toner, AL.com

Mobilians could board a train destined for New Orleans in as soon as three to five years, according to a passenger rail service advocacy group.Website Insert Our Name Tells Our Story copy

“We are very excited about the service becoming reality,” said Gregory B. White, the chairman of the Southern Rail Commission. “We think it’s the real deal.”

White made the remarks following the commission’s meeting on Friday at the Battle House Renaissance hotel. One day earlier, the U.S. Senate passed a five-year $325 billion transportation bill that is set to bolster Gulf Coast passenger rail activity.

Mobile has been without a passenger rail line for ten years since Hurricane Katrina destroyed it.  The commission – which represents Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi – was supposed to reveal findings of an Amtrak study focusing on reviving the passenger rail, but the study’s report was still incomplete.

Results from the study are scheduled to be released next week, White said.

Amtrak, created in 1971, is the only passenger rail entity allowed by the federal government to operate on freight lines similar to the CSX line that runs through Mobile.

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