Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission have partnered to apply for federal funds to study new service between New York and Dallas-Fort Worth through Atlanta by extending a section of the Amtrak Crescent train from Meridian, Miss., to Texas along Interstate 20, the organizations announced.
Amtrak has explored this idea “for more than 20 years,” but the 2021 infrastructure bill “creates new opportunities to study possible expanded long-distance Amtrak service,” according to the rail provider.
“This has the potential to be the first new Amtrak service of its kind in more than 25 years and would come in an area that has long been underserved by passenger rail,” SRC chairman Knox Ross said in a statement. “Now that we have a way forward for new state-sponsored corridor service between New Orleans and Mobile, the I-20 route has been identified by the SRC as its next priority.”
If the study is funded under the Federal Railroad Administration Federal-State Partnership Program and produces a sufficient business case for direct connection between the Northeast Corridor and areas in the South and West, Amtrak would partner with the SRC and others to seek federal capital and operating support to initiate the service.
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