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Published on : Monday, January 25, 2016
Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) are conducting a tour to examine new ideas for intercity passenger rail by operating an Inspection Train from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 19.
The Inspection Train, hosted by Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, will carry elected officials, industry representatives, community leaders and federal stakeholders. The goal of the invitation-only trip is to examine the existing CSX railroad infrastructure and to better understand rail’s economic, cultural and mobility opportunities. It will provide an unparalleled perspective on reintroducing intercity passenger rail along the Gulf Coast.
The special train will be at each of these stations for 10 minutes before departing at the times below (all times local). Details can be found on the SRC website.
* Louisiana: New Orleans, 8:45 a.m.
* Mississippi: Bay St. Louis, 10:20 a.m.; Gulfport, 11:00 a.m.; Biloxi, 11:31 a.m.; Pascagoula, 12:16 p.m.
* Alabama: Mobile, 1:25 p.m.; Atmore, 2:41 p.m.
* Florida: Pensacola, 8:00 a.m.; Crestview, 9:20 a.m.; Chipley, 11:00 a.m.; Tallahassee, 2:47 p.m.; Madison, 4:24 p.m.; Lake City, 5:35 p.m.; arriving Jacksonville at 7:15 p.m.
The SRC recently released a study by Amtrak detailing the range of feasible service options accompanied by an analysis of ridership levels, projected revenues, and associated costs for passenger trains between New Orleans and Orlando. The models in this new study present the range of service options that will support regional economic resilience and projected population growth.
Better connections and financial performance has been projected in these models – with higher ridership and lower costs – than Amtrak services previously considered or operated in the region. The study can be found at the SRC website.
“We want to work with community leaders and CSX.” said Boardman. “Additional regional economic development can come from shared infrastructure investments on a timeline to better connect the region to the rest of the country and more than 500 other Amtrak destinations.”
Connecting the cities and towns along the Gulf Coast with passenger rail is one of the top priority projects for the Southern Rail Commission.
“The Southern Rail Commission is committed to working with local and federal partners, and Amtrak to make this service a reality in the near future,” said SRC Chairman Greg White. “We are continuing to align the necessary support for the project.”