Future of passenger rail service in South Miss. raises concerns in Alabama

Alabama’s lack of financial support for the railway could hurt the project.
Updated: Jan. 22, 2020 at 8:48 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - After Mobile’s financial committee withheld its support to fund the restart of the Amtrak rail service, the future of the railway for Mississippi and Louisiana is now up in the air.

Both states have already approved funding for the rail service with Louisiana already committing $10 million and Mississippi committing $15 million.

Alabama’s Gov. Kay Ivey isn’t supporting the project, and the city of Mobile is being asked to commit as much as $3 million. This is a price that gets even steeper when you consider the fact that both city leaders and port officials have expressed concern about the project.

Even with concern growing in Alabama, Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is all in on the effort to restart passenger trains in Mississippi.

“Our goal is to get more folks here, "Gilich said. "You know, visit Biloxi. Visit our coast one time and the product will sell itself, so it is a challenge, but life is full of challenges.”

Gilich also implored the powers to move forward with the project across the border.

“We’ll encourage Mobile to move forward with this because, for Biloxi and our coast, it is another way to visit our little corridor and our part of the world," Gilich said. "So we’re excited that Mobile is in the process, so it is a win, win -- another way to visit the coast and Biloxi in particular.”

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