US unveils funding for passenger rail projects in Baton Rouge, north and south Louisiana
BATON ROUGE — The Biden administration today announced funding for the nation's first high-speed rail projects, along with funding for passenger rail projects in Baton Rouge and other lines in north and south Louisiana.
The Corridor Identification and Development Program includes a grant of up to $500,000 to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for the proposed corridor linking Baton Rouge and New Orleans, along with similar grants for three other projects in the state.
Passenger service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans ended in 1969, when the Southern Belle made its final run along the Kansas City Southern Railway.
The money would be used to develop a schedule and cost estimate for preparing, completing and documenting a service development plan, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Other funding announced Friday includes grants of up to a half-million dollars for similar work involving:
-The I-20 Corridor Intercity Passenger Rail Service connecting Dallas, Texas, and Meridian, Mississippi. The line would have stops in Shreveport, Ruston and Monroe. The study would be conducted by the Southern Rail Commission.
-Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Service between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. The rail line last hosted passenger service in 2005, when it was part of the Sunset Limited across the nation's southern tier. It will also be studied by the Southern Rail Commission.
-Daily Sunset Limited Service between Los Angeles and New Orleans. Trains currently run three times a week. Amtrak will study whether to move service to daily.
The overall announcement today included $8.2 billion in funding through the Federal Railroad
Administration’s Federal-State Partnership for the Intercity Passenger Rail Program. High-speed projects include this work:
-The Brightline West Project between Las Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga, California.
-California Inaugural High-Speed Rail Service Project in the Central Valley.
-The Raleigh to Richmond (R2R) Innovating Rail Program in North Carolina.
-The Long Bridge project in northern Virginia.
-New service linking Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver, and
-New service between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, with service to the Atlanta airport.
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