New Amtrak study shows possibilities of service along the Coast

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The thought that there could be new passenger train stops on the Mississippi Gulf Coast has Southern Rail Commission member Ashley Edwards excited.

"This is an excellent first step. With a 10-year window there without any passenger rail service, we now have a number of people around the table talking about the return of this rail service," he said. "These are very serious conversations occurring at the highest levels."

A recently released study by Amtrak, which was requested by the Southern Rail Commission, talks about the possibility of connecting New Orleans to Orlando, FL, via the Sun Set Limited that originally began service in 1984.

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Officials pushing to return passenger rail to Gulf Coast

TALLAHASSEE — A multistate rail agency is asking Amtrak to return passenger trains to the Gulf Coast a decade after it canceled service in wake of Hurricane Katrina.

A culture of Mardi Gras that extends beyond New Orleans, theme parks, riverboats, cruise ports, casinos, and professional and college sports teams along the rail route already are a huge draw for Gulf Coast visitors.

“Now all we need is the train,” said Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox, who sat on the Amtrak Mayor’s Advisory Council when he was mayor from 1996 to 2003.

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John Bel Edwards says he will do 'everything' to get light rail from New Orleans to Baton Rouge

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards wants to start working with federal officials to establish a passenger rail line between New Orleans and Baton Rouge -- a project Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to support

"I am going to do everything I can to partner with folks in Washington to make sure that as soon as possible we can pursue light rail," said Edwards at a New Orleans Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting Friday (Dec. 18). 

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Bringing Back Passenger Train Service in the Panhandle

More than ten years ago, a passenger rail service went through multiple stops here in Northwest Florida, but was never re-established after Hurricane Katrina.

For the past six months, there's been discussion between Amtrak, the Southern Rail Commission, and leaders across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida about restoring a passenger line from New Orleans to Orlando.

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Southern Rail Commission releases Amtrak report

MOMENTUM GROWING AS RAIL SERVICE WITHIN REACH FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE HURRICANE KATRINA

The Southern Rail Commission received a report from Amtrak that outlines options and critical steps for the restoration of passenger rail service that was never restored after Hurricane Katrina.

“We have an unprecedented amount of support from elected officials and partners from all over the Gulf Coast region,” said Gregory B. White, chairman of the Southern Rail Commission. “These leaders understand that rail means increased economic, cultural and industrial opportunity. And increased opportunity translates to increased quality of life for our vibrant communities.”

Gulf Coast Passenger Rail progress detailed after Dec. 4 SRC meeting in Mobile

After the Senate approved a $325 billion bill, the Southern Rail Commission provided an update on the progress for restoring rail service along the Gulf Coast.

The meeting hosted mayors from around the region, business and industry groups with a vested interest in rail, and other key stakeholders.

Read more about the meeting and our plan to move Gulf Coast passenger rail forward in the new year.

US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx: Better Transportation Options Connect People to Jobs

The head of the U.S. Department of Transportation said that urban planners and engineers have a chance to build transit systems that create opportunities for more people.

“We have an opportunity to make this generation of American transportation planning the most restorative in our history,” Anthony Foxx, secretary of the federal transportation department said Wednesday during his closing keynote address to the Louisiana Smart Growth Summit. The 10th annual summit was held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge.

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Proponents say passenger rail from New Orleans to Baton Rouge gaining momentum

The effort to develop a passenger rail line linking New Orleans and Baton Rouge could be gaining momentum.

The topic came up Wednesday during the 10th annual Louisiana Smart Growth Summit at the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge.

Knox Ross, secretary-treasurer of the Southern Rail Commission, an agency set up to promote rail service, said the cities that are succeeding and growing have made tremendous commitments to rail.

Read the full article here.