Amtrak Back to the Coast?

After a ten year hiatus, could a passenger train be on its way back to South Mississippi? A recent study says it’s most definitely feasible and that’s got many folks eager for the economic and tourism impact it could bring to the Coast.
Right now, commercial trains are the only vehicles chugging on the tracks of South Mississippi. Pretty soon, the “all aboard” call could welcome passengers traveling from New Orleans, Orlando and other parts of the country. Biloxi Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich says, “It is a great opportunity and just another way for people to reach our little corner of the world.”
Amtrak released a study on an Orlando to New Orleans route that would pass right through the Gulf Coast. Mayor Gilich is one outspoken supporter of the passenger train’s return and he says with the transit center directly beside the railroad tracks, Biloxi is already in the perfect position to welcome the service. “We’ve got the terminal space within walking distance of the ball park and walking distance of the different casinos and of course, just a short cab ride but I think it’s just a great opportunity. We’ll make it happen if we’re assured that we’re going to have two or three years or four or five years of service, it’s just another thing for us to take into consideration,” said Mayor Gilich.
The study also estimates that the route would generate nearly 154,000 passengers and that has people talking of the revenue it could produce. “More people would come for the casinos and things like that, the beaches, so I think it would be a good idea,” said Coast resident Grace Morris. Coast resident Ejay Morris said, “It sounds like a great idea.”
But bringing a nearly $10 million passenger train to the Coast is only feasible if local, state and federal investors are all aboard.
In 1993, Amtrak extended from Los Angeles to New Orleans through the Coast and into Miami but ended after Katrina demolished much of the Coast.

Categories: Local News, News

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