WASHINGTON - The Gulf Coast Working Group released a report to Congress last night that recommended restoring daily round trip Amtrak train service between New Orleans and Orlando.
The working group, which outlined a number of steps that would have to be taken before service is restored, cited the potential for expanded tourism and business travel along with improved access to jobs, education and healthcare among the reasons it recommended restoring the route.
Amtrak service between New Orleans and Orlando was suspended in 2005 due to significant damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
“This report makes clear the need to restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast and provides a path to get us there,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who helped create the working group Congress approved as part of the FAST Act in 2015. “While there’s lots of work ahead, this service will not only help us meet the future transportation needs of the region but could also be a boon for tourism and the local economy. “