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Amtrak’s Gulf Coast service is returning after nearly 20 years

The route between New Orleans and Mobile has been suspended since 2005

Written by
Gerrish Lopez

As part of a nearly $200 million grant awarded by the federal government, Amtrak is set to restore service on the Gulf Coast for the first time since 2005.

The route between New Orleans and Mobilewhich would also include stops in the coastal Mississippi towns of Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoulawas damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and service has been suspended since then. The funding will allow Amtrak to improve and upgrade tracks and stations along the route. The project will restore twice-daily service between the two cities.

“The CRISI grants announced today will help launch new and expanded service, advance critical safety and reliability improvements, and provide opportunities for the workforce, marking another big milestone as we continue to advance a new era of passenger rail,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner in a statement.

The project has been in the works for years, with supporters in both cities and stops along the route strongly in favor of restoring service. The route will be a boost for both business and tourism.

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi released a statement praising the grant, saying that “Restoring passenger rail service will create jobs, improve quality of life, and offer a convenient travel option for tourists, contributing to our region's economic growth and vitality.”

Representative Troy Carter of Louisiana stated, “This comprehensive grant not only ensures the development and construction of vital track and signal improvements but also emphasizes the importance of maintaining freight service reliability. This effort demonstrates a collective commitment to fostering sustainable transportation options and boosting regional development. This is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law at its best.”

The project should be complete by next year.

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