Passenger rail service back on track for the Coast

The project to bring Amtrak back to South Mississippi is back on track.

This afternoon, representatives from the Southern Rail Commission told the Biloxi City Council the funds for the project are close to being secured. The near $50 million project derailed last summer after Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana failed to reach an agreement to fund the service.

This year, according to Knox Ross with the Southern Rail Commission, a portion of the funds are being secured through grants and with the help of Amtrak. “Senator Cochran, Senator Wicker, and Senator Hyde-Smith have put together funding that would allow us to do that. This would give us something that was much better than what we had before Katrina, something that will bring people to our cities.”

Two grants from the Federal Railroad Commission are still pending. If the funds are approved the project would take around two years to complete.

It would be the first time a passenger train would service South Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005.

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