U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) met with elected officials and community leaders Tuesday, Aug. 30, to discuss the possibility of passenger rail service being established between Atlanta and the Dallas/Fort Worth Region, going through North Louisiana. The likelihood of this happening has
increased thanks to Cassidy’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $66 billion in new funding for passenger and freight rail.
“An I-20 corridor passenger rail line, connecting to Atlanta and Dallas, will allow someone to live where they want and easily commute within Louisiana and beyond,” said Dr. Cassidy. “State and local leadership, taking advantage of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, can make this happen.”
If constructed, the project would provide another transportation option for people seeking to commute to Dallas, Atlanta, or somewhere along the I-20 corridor. It would join more than 14 million residents throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. In 2015, an Amtrak feasibility study was conducted that determined a long-distance passenger rail connection could operate profitably over the existing railroad infrastructure. In 2017, a capacity study suggested that a capital expenditure investment of less than $80 million in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi was necessary.
Additionally, Canadian Pacific Railway has offered to acquire the Kansas City Southern Railway, a merger pending before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. Canadian Pacific and Amtrak have announced plans to conduct a study to finalize a cooperative agreement to operate the passenger train for the I-20 corridor along the trackage being acquired by Canadian Pacific.
Among other stakeholders present was Mr. Knox Ros, Secretary and Treasurer of the Southern Rail Commission, which is coordinating the push to bring passenger rail to North Louisiana.
“We have an opportunity to connect North Louisiana to Dallas and Atlanta via rail, bringing visitors and commerce to our region,” said Mr. Ross. “That opportunity is only possible because of Senator Cassidy’s infrastructure plan. We appreciate the Senator’s leadership.”