Amtrak and Southern Rail Commission to Seek Federal Dtudy for New Long Distance Service across Mississippi and Louisiana to Texas

Amtrak will partner with the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) to apply for federal funds to study a new service between New York City, Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth by extending a section of the popular Amtrak Crescent train from Meridian, Miss., across Mississippi and Louisiana to Texas along Interstate 20.

Amtrak and its partners have been exploring this idea for more than 20 years, but last year’s Congressional passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act now creates new opportunities to study possible expanded long-distance Amtrak service. Amtrak Network Development Vice President Nicole Bucich announced the decision to partner with the SRC to apply for the planning funds at the Commission’s quarterly meeting in New Orleans, supporting “More Amtrak Trains for More People.”

If the study is funded under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Federal-State Partnership Program and if it produces a sufficient business case for a direct connection between the Northeast Corridor and fast-growing areas in the South and West, Amtrak would partner with the SRC and others to seek federal capital and operating support to initiate the service.

Amtrak set the stage for such a study in an agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which has acquired the route (subject to regulatory approval). Among other parties would be Norfolk Southern Railway, which shares the ownership of the line with Kansas City Southern (KCS). Amtrak has endorsed CP’s combination with KCS.

The Amtrak agreement with CP announced early last year also provides for future service on a route owned by KCS between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, another SRC priority.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: March 13, 2023