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Coastal Rail Service gets financial bump

WASHINGTON, D.C.- $1.5 million is going to four Mississippi Gulf Coast cities in order to prepare for a passenger rail service,according to U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). 

The Southern Rail Commission (SRC) is giving Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funding to Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula. It will be used for station-area planning and construction in preperation for the the restoration of passenger rail services on the coast.

“Interest in reestablishing passenger rail service has grown steadily over the years. Restoring this service would be an asset to the overall transportation options available on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for economic and tourism interests.” said Cochran, Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.

“This funding represents a strategic down payment aimed at restoring passenger rail service to the Gulf Coast,” Wicker said. “our local communities need to be ready for the influx of people who will be traveling up and down the rail line. A lot of hard work lies ahead, but this is a milestone in reaching that goal.”

Seven other FRA-funded awards are being made to communities in Alabama and Louisiana for similar projects.

The SRC funding, which will be available in 2017, will be used over the next 24 months on the following projects:

·        City of Pascagoula – $659,543 for improvements to restore the city’s historic train station. Total project budget:  $1,300,744

·        City of Biloxi – $252,000 for construction of passenger rail platform and transit station access. Total project budget:  $497,000

·        City of Gulfport – $190,000 for construction of new platform canopy, sidewalk and disability access improvements.  Total project budget:  $370,277

·        City of Bay St. Louis – $55,000 for canopy, trackside and disability access improvements.  Total project budget:  $100,000

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