Sec. Wilson joins Mayor Landrieu, Amtrak and Southern Rail Commission for Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Inspection Trip
Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 6:59:44 PM
NEW ORLEANS, La. – This morning, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson joined New Orleans’ Mayor Mitch Landrieu, along with officials from Amtrak, Southern Rail Commission, and federal, state and local leaders for the departure of the Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Inspection Trip from Union Passenger Terminal.

DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson ready to board

Passenger rail between New Orleans and Florida has been suspended since 2005, following Hurricane Katrina. The goal of the two-day inspection trip is to examine existing infrastructure and better understand the economic, cultural and mobility opportunities that intercity passenger rail provides. This inspection trip is a major step forward in returning passenger rail service to the eastern region of the Gulf Coast in the near future.

Sec. Wilson joined the route through its first two stops, getting off in Gulfport, MS.

“DOTD is proud to partner with Amtrak, the Southern Rail Commission and the multitude of leaders who support this modern mode of transportation,” said Wilson. “I firmly believe that the reestablishment of the route from New Orleans to Florida will restore a level of connectivity that the region both desires and needs.”

(L-R) New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Tom Carper, Amtrak Board Member and Immediate Past Chairman, U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond (LA), U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (MS), U.S. Representative Corrine Brown (FL), Sarah Feinberg, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, Dr. Wilson, John Spain, Vice Chairman, Southern Rail Commission

Participants in the inspection trip include elected officials, federal stakeholders, industry representatives and local community leaders. The train departed from New Orleans today at 8:45 a.m. and will make twelve stops at train stations in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida before arriving in Jacksonville, FL on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, at 7:15 p.m.