SuperTalk Mississippi

Getting the Passenger Railroad Back Going on the Mississippi Coast: New Administrator Could Help

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The rail line that takes passengers from New Orleans to Orlando and passes through Mississippi’s coastal cities could be coming back online, but there are still miles to go on getting it done. A new administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration could be one of the keys to getting new passenger service in Mississippi.

Passenger service has been dormant since Hurricane Katrina.

Sarah Feinberg is set to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate and Mississippi’s Roger Wicker had some questions and conversation with her during her nomination hearing this week.

“I am supportive of Gulf service being restored,” said Feinberg at the hearing.

Feinberg said she plans a visit to Mississippi next month. Wicker replied that he, Sen. Thad Cochran and Gov. Phil Bryant would like to host her on a ride along Mississippi’s coast railroad route.

“I am pleased that Acting Administrator Feinberg is committed to working with us on restoring rail service to the Gulf Coast,” said Wicker. “The intent of Congress on this matter is clear – it is time to begin the work of bringing back passenger rail service between New Orleans and Orlando. I look forward to welcoming Administrator Feinberg to Mississippi in the near future to give her a firsthand look at the importance of the line.”


Earlier this year, Wicker and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bipartisan measure to improve passenger rail safety, reauthorize Amtrak services, and improve existing rail infrastructure. The bill, “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act,” would establish a working group with Mississippi representatives to study the return of rail service from New Orleans to Orlando across our Gulf Coast. It was passed unanimously out of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in June, and was contained in the “Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill,” which was passed by the full Senate on July 30.

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