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Rail News: Amtrak

Report: Restoring Amtrak Gulf Coast service would boost local economies

Service has been halted along the U.S. Gulf Coast since 2005.
Photo – Marc Glucksman/Amtrak


Restoring Amtrak service along the U.S. Gulf Coast would help provide a major economic boost to local communities in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, according to a recent report by the University of Southern Mississippi.

University researchers evaluated the economic impact of increased spending on tourism, the number of jobs created and expenditures related to rail construction and operations.

In Mississippi, the restored rail service could bring in new tourists who would spend $24 million to $485 million each year in the state, the report stated. In Alabama, new tourists could bring in $11.9 million to $220 million each year.

Rail operations in Mississippi could provide another $6 million in annual revenue.

Released last month, the report focused on the economic benefits of restored Amtrak service between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, during daytime hours.

Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Amtrak has suspended service between New Orleans and Orlando, Florida.

The Federal Railroad Administration in July 2017 released a report detailing capital costs of restoring the service.