SRC to host press conference Monday in support of Mississipp passenger rail

Join us in support of restored gulf coast passenger rail!

When: Monday, June 18, 2018 – 2:00 pm

Where: Gulfport Train Depot - 1419 27th Avenue (click for map)

Who:     Tom King, MDOT District 1 Commissioner

Knox Ross, Vice Chair, Southern Rail Commission

Yuanyuan Zhang, PhD, Professor of Research, Trent Lott National Center, University of Southern MS

John Robert Smith, Chair, Transportation for America; Former Mayor, Meridian, MS

and others

Why:     The Trent Lott National Center at the University of Southern Mississippi has prepared a report detailing the economic benefits to the Mississippi taxpayers of restored passenger rail along the gulf coast.

The key finding from this report estimates the return on investment for this train is between $64 million and $525 million annually depending on the increase in tourism.

Federal funding is available for the restoration of passenger rail service along the gulf coast, and the deadline to apply for it is June 21st. These grants require a non-federal match. A combined state-local commitment is envisioned to cover the $14.82 million needed from Mississippi.

The Governor is working with the three coastal counties to secure the non-federal match required to make this service a reality. These funds would flow over several years so the Governor and localities will never have to write a check for all the money at one time.

Click here to download the media advisory.

Senator urges Amtrak management, board, to get out and ride

The most important part of U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker’s trip to help dedicate Amtrak’s new stop for the City of New Orleans in northwest Mississippi, 67 miles south of Memphis, began when he boarded the northbound train at Greenwood, Miss., May 4.

“We haven’t told the story as well as we could,” the Mississippi Republican tells Trains News Wire in an exclusive interview after the speeches and ribbon cutting, “but let me just tell you that trainload of folks that we rode with from Greenwood to Marks was amazing. This is America going where they need to go at a reasonable rate.”

Click here for the interview on Trains.com (subscription required). 

Federal funding bill gives hope for Gulf Coast rail service

The signing of the federal FY2018 omnibus spending bill could finally bring passenger rail service back to Mobile.

Signed by President Donald J. Trump in March, the bill would provide millions in possible funding for rail service, including special grant funds set aside for service that was canceled. The bill includes $592.5 million in funding for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements, or CRIS, including $35.5 million set aside to restore lost passenger rail service such as the Gulf Coast route, according to a statement from the Southern Rail Commission.

Read the full story here