Amtrak, freight companies clash over Gulf Coast passenger rail


A dispute between Amtrak and two freight corporations may threaten implementation of New Orleans-to-Mobile passenger carrier. 

However, their battle will have to no longer affect plans for Baton Rouge-to-New Orleans carrier, as a result of if that’s the case the necessary gamers are all on board, says John Spain, vice chair of the Southern Rail Commission. 

Amtrak has publicly dedicated to organising a Baton Rouge-to-New-Orleans passenger path, matter to federal approval of Canadian Pacific Railway’s pending acquisition of railways Kansas City Southern owns. Last month, Gov. John Bel Edwards, transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, Federal Railroad Administration head Amit Bose, and bosses with Amtrak, KCS and CP all rode on a teach used to spot wanted upgrades alongside the path, which Spain says demonstrates their dedication to the mission. 

“Canadian Pacific is Amtrak’s number one passenger partner,” Spain says. “They know how to deal with the combination of freight and passenger service.” 

Amtrak does no longer have a identical courting with CSX or Norfolk Southern, the rail giants that personal many of the tracks the company needs to make use of alongside the Gulf Coast. The freight corporations argue {that a} resumption of passenger carrier may ensnare their routes with site visitors, inflicting pricey delays within the nation’s provide chain at a time when companies are already plagued via shortages and slowed shipments, Grist reviews

Advocates for public transit concern {that a} loss may embolden freight corporations to stymie passenger rail carrier somewhere else. 

“If CSX and Norfolk Southern are successful in blocking this, then dreams of expanded passenger rail will begin to wither and die in every part of the country,” says John Robert Smith, the previous mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, who chairs advocacy workforce Transportation for America.

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