WGNO (New Orleans) — The possibility of a passenger train between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is one step closer to reality.

With Amtrak onboard, the SoLa Super Region Committee of GNO, Inc. is spearheading the New Orleans-Baton Rouge Intercity Passenger Rail.

Their team met with the New Orleans City Council Tuesday and are hopeful Louisianians will eventually have another form of transportation.

It’s well known that drivers who commute between New Orleans and Baton Rouge via I-10 oftentimes become frustrated.

“Every time you get on the interstate from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, it’s an adventure,” said Darrell Saizan, a member of SoLA Super Region Committee of GNO, Inc. “You don’t know if you’re going to get there on time. You don’t know if you’re going to get to your flight. So, this would offer an option to people.”

Project heads say they’re waiting to see if the Service Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation will rule in favor of the Canadian Pacific Railway to acquire the assets of the Kansas City Southern Railroad, which owns the local train lines.

“That opens up routes between New Orleans and Baton Rouge and previously were not available for passenger rail,” said Saizan. “Once that happens, I think we’re going to see some movement on the project in general.”

The New Orleans-Baton Rouge Intercity Passenger Rail would use existing freight rail tracks that connect New Orleans and Baton Rouge that are currently owned by Norfolk Southern.

“It will be crucial to attracting and retaining businesses and providing workforce connections and providing a new option for mobility, and it will benefit both employees and employers,” said Peter Waggonner, GNO, Inc.’s public policy and programs associate.

Funding for the train is now available under the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“So, it’s time for this to come to fruition, and we think we’ve got a really good shot at it now,” said Saizan.

The presenters received the support of the city council.

“Thank you very much for that presentation, and certainly [let us] know how we as members of the council can help make this important project happen,” said District D Councilmember Eugene Green.

There is no timetable for completion, but the passenger rail was included as a priority in Amtrak’s Connects US strategic plan.