Baton Rouge-to-New Orleans passenger rail not derailed by gas tax failure

Louisiana officials say the failed gas tax increase that would have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for transportation projects has not derailed a long-discussed passenger train service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

But the project remains in the earliest of planning stages, and the state and local governments will have to find millions of dollars at a time of great uncertainty for financing such projects.

The federal government will likely cover most of the roughly $260 million price tag, says Shawn Wilson, Department of Transportation and Development secretary, while locals and public-private partnerships are expected to pick up some of the slack. According to a 2014 study, the service would also command an annual net operating cost of almost $7 million.

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