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Southern Rail Commission sets Gulf Coast rail meetings

Published: Apr. 10, 2017 at 3:48 PM EDT
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By: Associated Press

April 10, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Southern Rail Commission will hold six meetings in coming days to discuss what's next in efforts to restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast.

Meetings start Tuesday in Jacksonville and Live Oak, Florida. Wednesday meetings are in Marianna, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama. The effort will conclude Thursday with sessions in Gulfport, Mississippi, and New Orleans.

The commission urges residents of the states to keep seeking political support for Amtrak rail service between New Orleans and Florida, which ended with 2005's Hurricane Katrina. A February 2016 inspection tour sparked interest in bringing trains back.

Four cities along the route received federal grants to design or rehabilitate stations. Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman says his agency is committed to running trains as soon as funding and host railroad agreements are settled.

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