Alabama, Mississippi refuse money to restart Amtrak service on the coast

Published 11:25 am Friday, June 22, 2018

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Plans to resume passenger train service on the northern Gulf Coast suffered a setback with Alabama and Mississippi refusing money for the project.

Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi had to pledge almost $35 million total over three years by Thursday to be eligible for the same amount in federal funds that would enable Amtrak trains to run from New Orleans eastward to Mobile, Alabama.

But Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey refused, and a leader with the Southern Rail Commission says Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant never responded to the request.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards had committed to spend as much as $8 million on the project, saying it would provide “tremendous benefits” to the region.

Amtrak suspended service east of New Orleans after Katrina caused heavy damage in 2006.