Passenger Rail Could Return to the Gulf Coast

Although the details of the deal remain murky, Amtrak and the freight companies that share tracks in the region have agreed to restore passenger train service east of New Orleans.

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November 29, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Amtrak Sunset Limited train viewed from the side passing low desert hills in West Texas

Sunset Liited train passing through Terrell County, West Texas | Gestalt Imagery / Amtrak Sunset Limited

The three railroads responsible for train service on the Gulf Coast have agreed to restore passenger rail service to the region, though a launch date remains uncertain. Amtrak stopped service east of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina damaged the tracks.

According to an article by Dan Zukowski in Smart Cities Dive, Amtrak, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, the Alabama State Port Authority, and Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks are working on an agreement to bring Amtrak trains back and have filed a motion with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to postpone hearings until the settlement is worked out. “According to the STB filing, ‘it will take several months’ to resolve all remaining issues and put the agreement into effect. The terms of the settlement are confidential, the filing states.”

In October, a deadline for mediation in the STB case passed, prompting disappointment among advocates of renewing Amtrak service.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 in Smart Cities Dive

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