NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It’s in the early stages, but commuter train service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans could soon be a reality.

Canadian Pacific Railway is awaiting approval from federal regulators for its purchase of the Kansas City Southern Rail line, which would be upgraded from freight-only service, to freight and passenger service in Southeast Louisiana.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, alongside the SoLA Super Region Committee, has been advocating for intercity rail between Baton Rouge and New Orleans on existing tracks.

The recommended train stops are downtown Baton Rouge and the Health District as well as Gonzales, LaPlace, MSY airport in New Orleans and the Union Passenger Terminal, next to the Superdome.

Baton Rouge to NOLA train
Baton Rouge to NOLA train

Executive Vice President John M. Spain has led the project, and he serves on the board of the Southern Rail Commission. 

The project could require $262-million dollars in upgrades that would bring the tracks up to standards for intercity rail. Some of the funding would come from the recently passed Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which calls for expanded passenger rail service across the nation

No word yet on when exactly the service could begin, but the initial plan is to have one, roundtrip service on Amtrak from New Orleans to Baton Rouge per day.