Possible return of Amtrak to Mobile could mean Montgomery is next

December 7, 2015

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – The Southern Rail Commission held a meeting Friday to discuss bringing Amtrak service back to Mobile. Officials say if that happens, Montgomery could easily be next.Website Insert Perfect Answer copy

It’s been 10 years since Mobile has had Amtrak service and more than 20 since Montgomery has.

“Rail is very popular and people use rail to go back and forth to work. That’s not the case in the Southeast,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “But as conditions change, driving habits change, you certainly have to look at it as an option.”

Also in attendance at the meeting were officials from Montgomery and Birmingham. That’s because if Amtrak is restored in Mobile, it could potentially be connected to the existing Amtrak service in Birmingham. The city of Montgomery hopes to be the link between the two.

“That would give us a connection between the two major routes and basically give us, here in the Montgomery  area, connectivity to the 21,000-mile route structure of the Amtrak network and the 500-destination locations throughout the United States,” said Robert Smith, Director of Planning with the city of Montgomery.

But for that to happen, the city has just a few things they need to look into first.

“Overall cost, capital cost, and take public opinion surveys about where people might like to go, what their likelihood is of riding the service and other types of needs and wants that they might like to have,” Smith said.

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