FRA Administrator Amit Bose testified on behalf of the Department at the Surface Transportation Board Hearing on Amtrak’s application seeking to restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast (Docket No. FD 36496).
You can read the full testimony delivered by Administrator Bose here or refer to the statement below.
Statement of FRA Administrator Bose on Restoration of Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Service
“The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) appreciate the Surface Transportation Board’s consideration of Amtrak’s application to re-start passenger service along the Gulf Coast by adding two daily round-trip trains between Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana. The outcome of this proceeding will be pivotal to the future development of intercity passenger rail in this country.
“We believe it is imperative that the Board use its authority to ensure that host railroads fulfill their fundamental statutory obligations to allow the expansion and improvement of intercity passenger rail services. It is the American public that suffers when these services are held up. In this case, the Gulf Coast region has been without Amtrak service for nearly two decades. Service delayed is service denied.
“DOT is concerned with the vitality of the rail network as a whole. Both freight and passenger service are critically important, and we are taking numerous steps to help to improve supply chains and fluidity throughout the rail network and other modes of transportation. However, the people of the Gulf Coast region have been without Amtrak service since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That is too long.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law reaffirms the importance of passenger rail, and provides unprecedented funding and authority to maintain, improve, and expand intercity passenger rail service throughout the United States. The expansive vision for intercity passenger rail development set forth in it rests largely on the ability to introduce, improve, and restore passenger rail services that operate over host railroads.
“Should the Board grant Amtrak’s application, DOT and FRA remain committed to assisting the Board and necessary parties in helping to make the requested passenger service a reality.”