Amtrak announces plans to expand services throughout the South
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- Published on March 20, 2023
- Last Updated May 15, 2023
- In Culture
Amtrak announces partnership with Southern Rail Commission to apply for government funding that will expand services in the southern region.
Amtrak is planning to expand its railroad services throughout the South. Earlier this month, Amtrak announced they will partner with the Southern Rail Commission to “apply for federal funds to study a new service between New York City, Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth.”
The travel giant claims the new stops will be added by extending a section of the popular Amtrak Crescent train starting in Meridian, Mississippi and moving across Mississippi and Louisiana to Texas along Interstate 20.
Last year’s passing of the Congressional passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was the push that Amtrak and its partners needed to put the idea into motion after it had been introduced over 20 years ago. The new funding source “creates new opportunities to study possible expanded long-distance Amtrak service.”
According to the press release regarding the partnership with the SRC, Amtrak Network Development Vice President, Nicole Bucich announced the decision to apply for the planning funds at the Commission’s quarterly meeting in New Orleans, supporting “More Amtrak Trains for More People.” Bucich stated that with the new funds made available, Amtrak could continue with its mission of being the nation’s largest passenger rail service.
“As the entity responsible for providing the nation’s long-distance intercity passenger rail service, Amtrak will work with our partners to seek the funds needed to study expansion and improvement options where strong stakeholder support exists and initial analysis show opportunity.” Bucich said. “With the encouragement and support of federal, state and local officials, this application is the first step in determining the feasibility of this concept and the benefits and challenges, including federal funding commitments, of expanding Amtrak service to the I-20 route.”
SRC Chairman Knox Ross noted that the possible expansion could provide services to areas that have been underserved in the past.
“This has the potential to be the first new Amtrak service of its kind in more than 25 years. It would come in an area that has long been underserved by passenger rail,” Ross said. “Now that we have a way forward for new state-sponsored corridor service between New Orleans and Mobile, the I-20 route has been identified by the SRC as its next priority.”
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