Southern Cities, Officials Applaud Amtrak Train Run

For the first time since Hurricane Katrina made landfall a decade ago, a passenger train is rolling from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida.

Yesterday and today, local mayors, governors and even senators have been aboard an Amtrak inspection train running between the Southern cities as part of an ongoing push to restore passenger rail service along the whole Gulf Coast, which never resumed after the 2005 storm.

Dozens of other major cities — including Nashville, Las Vegas and Phoenix — have lost Amtrak service in the last 50 years. If service between New Orleans and Jacksonville resumes, it will be the first passenger rail restored in the U.S. in a half-century, connecting myriad small towns and cities, including Pensacola, Tallahassee, Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Biloxi.