Amtrak takes huge step to begin new service in Mississippi

Published 10:59 pm Monday, June 5, 2023

Amtrak has submitted applications for approximately $716 million in Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funding for 16 proposed projects around the country that would improve Long Distance reliability, reduce travel times, and expand service.

“Amtrak’s Long Distance routes are vital mobility and economic links for communities around the country and we’re continually working to enhance them,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia. “These grant applications reiterate our commitment to improving service for all Amtrak customers, from small, rural towns to major metropolitan areas.”

The applications were submitted through two FRA programs funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), including the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program funding opportunity for projects outside the Northeast Corridor and the Corridor Identification and Development Program (Corridor ID Program).

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Example Long Distance projects include:

  • Multiple Cardinal and Sunset Limited service improvements
    • Increase service to operate daily – up from 3x/week currently (Corridor ID Program)
    • Increase Cardinal train speeds and reduce travel times between Indianapolis and Dyer, Ind.
    • Sunset Limited return to Phoenix
  • Southwest Chief signal modernization between Colorado and New Mexico
  • Empire Builder rail enhancements in Montana
  • I-20 Crescent service extension from Mississippi through Louisiana to Texas
  • Construction of new Crystal City station that would add service to Arlington, Va.

In addition to these Long Distance grant applications submitted in conjunction with various partners, Amtrak also applied for several grants to improve Northeast Corridor and State Supported routes and provided letters of support for 83 projects outside the Northeast Corridor submitted by others.