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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