The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded $4,360,000 to the Southern Rail Commission to help restore intercity passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast. The funding is being awarded under FRA’s FY 2017 Restoration and Enhancement Grants Program.
“This funding will help Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama resume passenger rail service between New Orleans and Mobile to enhance regional economic growth and rural mobility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, who announced the funding.
Amtrak suspended its tri-weekly service between New Orleans and Orlando in 2005 due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to the stations and rail lines used by long-distance Sunset Limited trains. Restoring the service will provide twice daily, roundtrip service with stops in: New Orleans; Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Gulfport, Miss.; Biloxi, Miss.; Pascagoula, Miss.; and Mobile, Ala., and is projected to carry 38,400 passengers annually.
“States are in the best position to determine how to meet the mobility needs of their citizens, and I commend the Southern Rail Commission for all its hard work to restore Gulf Coast intercity passenger rail service,” stated FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory.