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FRA OKs grant to study return of Amtrak route in Alabama


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has obligated $100,000 to study whether Amtrak service should be restored along a route between Birmingham, Montgomery and, possibly, Mobile, Ala.

The grant was issued in response to an application from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The study will cover cost and ridership analyses, stakeholder outreach and planning to assess the feasibility of service between Birmingham and Montgomery, FRA officials said in a prepared statement.

Those two cities will contribute an additional $100,000 for the study. The analyses will help determine the feasibility of extending the study to Mobile, and proceed with preparation of a service development plan, environmental review and preliminary design, FRA officials said.

The proposed service would connect to the existing Alabama portion of the Amtrak Crescent route at Birmingham, and possibly to a future route between Mobile and Florida that’s now under discussion between Amtrak and several Gulf Coast mayors. Previously known as the Amtrak Sunset Limited, the service was discontinued in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/17/2012