Southern Rail Commission Receives Federal Funding for Passenger Rail Corridors

BATON ROUGE – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the allocation of a total of $1 million in Corridor Identification and Development Program funding to the Southern Rail Commission to support further planning and development of passenger rail routes, including $500,000 for the Mobile to New Orleans corridor and $500,000 for the I-20 corridor between Meridian, Miss. and Forth Worth, Texas. The Louisiana Department of Transportation was separately awarded a grant of $500,000 for the Baton Rouge to New Orleans corridor.

The CIDP funding will supplement other federal, state, and local funds committed to these corridors to support the development of corridor scope, schedule, and cost estimates for the preparation, completion, and documentation of service development plans for passenger rail service across the Gulf Coast and I-20 corridors. By being accepted into the Federal Railroad Administration’s program, these projects are anticipated to receive future funding allocations.

“The Southern Rail Commission has been steadfastly committed to expanding passenger rail service across our three states and this grant allows us to continue our efforts in a more robust way as we get closer to the start of service along these corridors,” said Knox Ross, chairman of the Southern Rail Commission. “We are immensely grateful to our partners at the local, state, and federal level, especially Senators Bill Cassidy, Roger Wicker, and Cindy Hyde-Smith, along with Congressmen Garret Graves and Troy Carter, that have championed this work and advocated for the funding allocations that keep our projects moving forward.”

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“We applaud the FRA for awarding CIDP grants to the SRC to advance two key corridors in the deep south. The growing support from local mayors and county executives has been crucial in moving these initiatives forward,” said John Robert Smith, chair of transportation for America. “While one award is an important benefit as we move the Gulf Coast project to completion, the second marks the initial steps for the first expansion of long-distance passenger rail in decades, connecting the thriving economies of Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth, and bringing substantial benefits for communities in Louisiana and Mississippi along the way.”

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