Passenger rail advocates say 'it's way past time' to restore New Orleans-Orlando service

Plans to reconnect New Orleans and Orlando with a daily service passenger train are closer to reality, more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina damaged railroad tracks along the Gulf Coast, according to Amtrak and other officials who met Thursday (April 13) at the Regional Transportation Management Center on Veterans Boulevard. 

Still, President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal loomed over the meeting. A March 16 Washington Post story said Trump's proposal cuts 13 percent of Transportation Department funding, terminating federal support for Amtrak's national rail system. Rail advocates on Thursday emphasized the need for supporters to continue pushing for the national system, while also remaining optimistic about the chances of New Orleans to Orlando service moving forward despite the budget threats.

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