Amtrak has partnered with the Southern Rail Commission to explore rail service connecting New York City, Atlanta, and Dallas.
Rail enthusiasts may soon have a new option for exploring the United States.
Amtrak recently announced a partnership with the Southern Rail Commission to explore extending rail service connecting New York City, Atlanta, and Dallas/Fort Worth via the I-20 Crescent train line. According to the rail line, this idea has been in development for over 20 years, and only since the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has it been able to take a step forward into possible existence.
The announcement signifies a starting point for the project as Amtrak will partner with the Southern Rail Commission to study and explore the feasibility of this service. Both organizations point out that this concept has support at various levels of government, as well as among rail industry leaders.
“With the encouragement and support of federal, state and local officials, this application is the first step in determining the feasibility of this concept and the benefits and challenges, including federal funding commitments, of expanding Amtrak service to the I-20 route.” Amtrak Vice President Nicole Bucich said in a statement that was shared with Travel + Leisure.
The Crescent line, which is known for stretching from the Big Apple of New York to the Big Easy of New Orleans, is currently operating daily and takes 30 hours to complete. This new service would extend the train line from New Orleans across Mississippi and Louisiana, with a final stop in Dallas/Fort Worth. There are only 15 long-distance routes currently operated by Amtrak.
"This will provide cities not previously connected to rail the opportunity to get connected to rail. From tourist hubs to college towns, this will provide new opportunities." said the Chairman of The Southern Rail Commission Knox Ross in an interview with T+L.
Amtrak currently operates over 21,400 miles of rail service within the United States. Last year, customers took over 22 million trips on Amtrak.
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