The existing service came to an abrupt halt after Hurricane Katrina damaged the railway. It’s long been repaired, but just a few months ago an Amtrak spokesperson announced it was time to bring back riders.
“We’re perfectly safe for freight train traffic, we’re perfectly safe for passenger traffic,” said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesperson.
What took even longer was for owners of the railways to allow Amtrak to use them.
“There’s a resolution tomorrow on the city council agenda in support of the restoration of the Gulf Coast rail line service,” said Laura Bryne, Mobile Mayor’s Office.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is now moving ahead to ask the city council for support in bringing back the train service.
“At this point, we haven’t been asked to put up any funding, we definitely support the idea of it, and if there are some [costs] that come out, that would have to be something we would have to discuss,” said Bryne.
And the real case for support maybe about how Amtrak drives competition.
“That is we’re faster than freight trains, a faster than driving,” said Magliari.
Another selling point maybe efficiency. One gallon of fuel is estimated to carry a ton of freight more than 400 miles.
“But the main thing is that we feel that this will enhance tourism aspects it will economic boost for our city it will help the Gulf Coast,” said Bryne.
The resolution now heads to the Mobile City Council.