On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) met with elected officials and community leaders to discuss the possibility of passenger rail service going through North Louisiana.
The infrastructure investment would be part of rail service between Atlanta and the Dallas/Fort Worth region, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure 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,” Cassidy said. “State and local leadership, taking advantage of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, can make this happen.”
If officials chose to move forward with the project, the rail service line would provide another transportation option for those seeking to commute to Dallas or Atlanta from Northern Louisiana. Officials said it would connect more than 14 million residents in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. An Amtrak feasibility study in 2015 found that long-distance passenger rail connections in the area could operate profitably over the existing railroad infrastructure, but a 2017 capacity study found that the railroad infrastructure needed an investment of at least $80 million in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Canadian Pacific Railway has offered to acquire the Kansas City Southern Railway. In association with Amtrak, it announced that it will conduct a study to finalize a cooperative agreement to operate the I-20 corridor passenger train along those tracks.