Amtrak’s Return to the Gulf Coast Moves One Step Closer

WASHINGTON, D. C. – The Southern Rail Commission is pleased that the Surface Transportation Board has denied a motion from two freight railroad companies to dismiss Amtrak’s application for permission to perform “all necessary preparations” for Gulf Coast passenger rail service to commence in January 2022.

 “This STB decision is incredibly gratifying, and the Southern Rail Commission is pleased that the STB refused CSX’s and Norfolk Southern’s effort to dismiss Amtrak’s petition for access to operate passenger rail between New Orleans and Mobile,” said Knox Ross, Mississippi SRC commissioner, in a press release. “We are especially pleased that the STB found no need for an environmental review and set an aggressive hearing schedule to resolve this process within an expeditious timeframe that could meet Amtrak’s stated goal of starting passenger service in January 2022. Our communities are ready for the return daily rail service.”

On March 16, 2021, Amtrak filed a petition with the STB requiring that the freight railroads provide access on the line between New Orleans and Mobile to allow Amtrak to perform all necessary preparations. In response, the freight railroads responded by filing a motion requesting that the STB dismiss Amtrak’s application.

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In addition to denying the motion to dismiss Amtrak’s application, the STB issued a decision that establishes a procedural schedule with a hearing set in December 2021, and appointed an administrative law judge to resolve all discovery disputes.

Click here to download the STB’s official decision document. 


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