Amtrak declares plans to broaden its South-bound service
This week, a series of briefings will be held to reintroduce the Amtrak expansion in northern Louisiana.
The Government Plaza foyer on Travis Street in Shreveport will host the first event on Wednesday at 2 p.m. The second is at 4 p.m. in Ruston, close to the Rancher’s Market on Mississippi Road. A third preparation is occurring Thursday in Monroe.
The infrastructure investment and jobs act, which was passed in 2022, is giving NWLA the opportunity to believe in the potential expansion of Amtrak’s long-distance service. Amtrak and partners have been considering the idea for more than 20 years.
Amtrak will collaborate with the southern rail commission and others to realize the 20-year-old idea if it is granted funding and if a strong business plan can demonstrate that a direct connection between the northeast corridor and areas in the south and west will be beneficial to the company.
Amtrak has applied for approximately $716 million in funding from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for 16 proposed nationwide projects that would increase service, shorten travel times, and improve long-distance reliability.
The I-20 Crescent service extension from Mississippi through Louisiana to Texas is one of the long-distance projects.
“This investment from the infrastructure law will connect Louisiana’s I-20 corridor with Atlanta and Dallas. It strengthens north Louisiana cities by better integration into interstate commerce,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said.