Restoring passenger rail on Gulf Coast among topics discussed at congressional hearing

February 24, 2016

By John Sharp, AL.com

Fresh off a historic Amtrak inspection ride through the Gulf Coast last week, supporters of reviving passenger rail from New Orleans to Orlando are pushing Congress for to support grant programs that could boost capital needs in getting the service restored.Website Insert Passenger Trains Very Well copy

Knox Ross, a Southern Rail Commissioner and mayor of Pelahatchie, Miss., pushed for on Tuesday the funding of two discretionary grant programs created in last year’s $325 billion long-term transportation bill that kick-started efforts to revitalize passenger rail along the Gulf Coast. He made his case during a U.S. Senate Commerce hearing on passenger rail.

Ross lobbied the congressional committee for the funding of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement program and the Restoration and Enhancement Grants program. More than $1.1 billion was earmarked into the safety improvement program through the federal transportation bill, but the Commerce committee is charged with overseeing its future appropriations.

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