Rep. Corrine Brown promotes Gulf Coast rail service on trip from New Orleans

Rep. Corrine Brown promotes Gulf Coast rail service on trip from New Orleans

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A U.S. representative from Florida is expected to arrive in Jacksonville Friday after an Amtrak trip that promoted restoration of rail service between Florida and New Orleans.

Amtrak’s Sunset Limited between New Orleans and Sanford, Fla. was discontinued indefinitely after Hurricane Katrina damaged tracks along the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Brown embarked on a trip from New Orleans to Jacksonville on Thursday to promote restoring Amtrak service along the Gulf.

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She said the service is important because it serves as an evacuation route during emergencies.

It also gives people in Florida access to rail service to Los Angeles, Calif.

“For my constituents in Florida, as well as many residents along the Gulf Coast states of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, the current lack of service has entirely denied residents access to Amtrak routes,” Brown said.

The trip also examined existing infrastructure and aimed to establish understanding of the economic, cultural and mobility opportunities that intercity passenger rail provides.

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, local elected officials, industry representatives, community leaders and federal rail stakeholders also participated in the trip.