Amtrak making progress in returning to Gulf Coast
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - We’re starting to see real signs of passenger rail service returning to the Coast.
Amtrak signs are now up in Downtown Gulfport at the site of the planned train stop, the depot near the Hancock Whitney building.
The platforms are also now complete for the four Mississippi stops in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula. Next week, Amtrak will begin making test runs from New Orleans to Mobile.
The Gulfport Museum of History staff inside the old train station are looking forward to seeing the passenger trains running again.
“Today people are talking about when they were kids, they used to take the train from Gulfport,” said Brennan Collins. “A number of people have come through, just asking when it will happen. And obviously there is a need and a want to be able to go to the local places and travel on the train. It’s novelty at this point.”
Pascagoula Mayor Jay Willis says he is excited and already has plans for when the Amtrak railways make its way to the city.
“We already have a new platform developed at the train depot and have a three million dollar project planned for renovation for the train depot,” Mayor Willis said. “Turning it into a micro brewery with an oyster bar is what the developers want to do there.”
The Amtrak test runs will continue for several months. No start date for the passenger train service has been announced yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
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