PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Two young women from New Jersey are on an Amtrak adventure; traveling America and writing stories for the National Association of Railroad Passengers.
Coast leaders met with Caitlin Boyle and Victoria Principato in hopes that their experience will help sell the benefits of rail service in South Mississippi along an old route from Florida to California.
"There are a lot of different benefits to communities who have a train stop. We've seen a lot of economic development in cities and towns we've stopped in from the train. That's been very cool," said Victoria.
Victoria and Cailtlin shared a cup of coffee and conversation with Coast leaders who are lobbying to restore Amtrak passenger service to South Mississippi. The belief is rail service could have a positive impact on the Coast.
"With the economic impact of a rail station, especially if we're able to go back and forth to New Orleans, we're talking about people commuting and coming over here to spend money on our resorts and casinos. It's huge," said Kay Kell with the Southern Rail Commission.
The 27 day, 22 city trip began in New York, and will end in Washington, D.C. Victoria and Caitlin are using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to support the blogs for NARP.
"Through our blog, we've laid out a map of all the cities we've been to and how to get places. It is possible to do. It's easy and it's fun," said Caitlin.
With the Coast going all out to establish passenger service across South Mississippi, the stories told by the pair could be used as ammunition to talk about how train travel is a valuable tool for tourism and economic development.
Kay Kell says the biggest obstacle to bringing Amtrak to the coast is negotiating with CSX to use their rail line.
Follow Caitlin and Victoria along on their adventure by visiting Summerbyrail.com.