Amtrak plans train station upgrades if Gulf Coast route OK’d
BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Amtrak is taking steps to prepare train stations for eventual passenger service along the Mississippi Gulf Coast if the route is eventually approved.
Passenger rail service on the Gulf Coast route is in a holding pattern for now, WLOX-TV reported. A February hearing with the Surface Transportation Board will determine whether the plans to launch passenger train service from New Orleans to Mobile can move forward.
While awaiting that ruling, Amtrak is preparing to take bids for contractors to build the train platforms that will be needed before passenger service can begin, Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard said. The four stops are in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula.
“It looks to me like everything with Amtrak is on track to have our platform built and have train service ready for fall,” Leonard said.
Originally, each city was going to be responsible for building those platforms, but Amtrak has now taken over that role.
Amtrak also confirms that it is in the process of hiring crews to work the New Orleans to Mobile route when it launches, WLOX reported. Some of those hires have already been made.