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 here.
“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.”
Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past five years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces.
About Southern Rail Commission
Established by an act of Congress in 1982, the Southern Rail Commission engages and informs public and private rail interests to support and influence rail initiatives across its member states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. For more information about the Southern Rail Commission see SouthernRailCommission.org.