In 2005, Hurricane Katrina washed away much of CSX’s Gulf Coast tracks and Amtrak was forced to suspend
Sunset Limited service between New Orleans and Florida. Since 2006, the railroad has been rebuilt and freight service
has returned, yet Gulf Coast communities are still being deprived of essential passenger rail. CSX and NS have done
everything in their power to block restoring passenger service unless hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent
to improve their railroad, far beyond estimates by the Congressionally-established Gulf Coast Working Group.
Congress created the STB to settle disputes among railroads. Now, after six years of negotiations and 16 years without
service, it is time for the STB to hear the case for Gulf Coast service.
|Projected economic impact from tourism spending|
|Alabama up to $220 million|
|Mississippi up to $486 million|
|Louisiana up to $365 million|
|Total up to $1 billion|
The STB’s decision will have an impact on Amtrak’s ability to expand beyond where passenger rail service exists today,
and could adversely affect Amtrak’s ability to provide more trains for more people across America. Many of the
country’s biggest and fastest growing metropolitan areas, with diverse populations, don’t have the rail service they need
and deserve. Major cities like Houston, Atlanta, and Cincinnati have service that is simply inadequate, with trains that
only stop once a day and often in the middle of the night. Other cities like Las Vegas, Nashville, Columbus, Phoenix, and
Wichita don’t have Amtrak service at all!
Our Amtrak Connects US vision would grow service across America together with state and federal partners and within
the framework of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, adding 39 new routes, 25 enhanced routes, and 160+ new
communities, in addition to the 500+ stops served today.
We want both freight and passenger rail to succeed! However, Amtrak cannot provide the passenger rail service
America deserves if freight railroads can unilaterally reject new passenger service.
Don’t let CSX and NS veto America’s chance to use once-in-a-generation funding to serve more of the country with safe and reliable passenger rail service.
Prior to service start, a station track at Mobile would need to be built and repairs made at stations.
Future improvements have been studied and are funded at more than $60 million going forward