FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (22-18)
Contact: Madison Butler, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 22, 2022
Rail Passengers Association Statement on Gulf Coast Agreement
Washington, D.C. -- Statement of Rail Passengers Association President & CEO Jim Mathews on today’s announcement that Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Alabama State Port Authority have reached an agreement to support passenger and freight service in the Gulf Coast Corridor.
“Rail Passengers eagerly awaits the details of the settlement agreement that has been reached between Amtrak, the freight railroads, and the port on the restoration of passenger rail service to the Gulf Coast,” said Mathews. “We’ve been fighting to return passenger trains to the Gulf Coast since it was knocked offline by Hurricane Katrina. That 17-year journey has been filled with obstacles and frustration -- but also moments of joy, where local champions and national advocates were able to come together around the vision of a more connected Gulf Coast region. An agreement to return service would, first and foremost, be a justification of the grit and dedication shown by those people and a validation of our vision. We would also owe a particular debt of gratitude to Senator Roger Wicker and the Southern Rail Commission for their leadership.
“We will of course need to see the final details of the agreement before we can fully comment on its merits,” emphasized Mathews. “Additionally, Rail Passengers hopes the terms of the settlement may provide a guidepost for the timely addition of passenger rail service to new corridors. If we want the U.S. passenger rail network to catch up with our global competitors, we cannot require that states, cities and citizens invest 17 years to launch a new service.”
About Rail Passengers Association
The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works, and plays in towns all across America.