WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On Monday, June 5, 2023, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) announced that Amtrak has applied for $11.5 million in federal funding made available under his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for the I-20 Crescent long-distance train service extension from Mississippi through Louisiana to Texas and grade crossing safety improvements in Louisiana.

This investment from the infrastructure law will connect Louisiana’s I-20 corridor with Atlanta and Dallas. It strengthens north Louisiana cities by better integration into interstate commerce.

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA)

In 2022, Cassidy discussed passenger rail in North Louisiana at a stakeholder meeting in the context of new funding opportunities in his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has made it possible to have an AMTRAK route in North Louisiana connecting our cities with Atlanta and Dallas. This conference included Federal officials and state and local leaders from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. It demonstrated to AMTRAK and to the Federal Railroad Commission that Louisiana is committed.

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA)

In 2015, an Amtrak feasibility study was conducted showing that a long-distance passenger rail connection could operate profitably over existing railroad infrastructure along the I-20 corridor. According to reports, another study in 2017 said that less than $80 million is required as an initial investment between Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Officials went on to confirm that Canadian Pacific (CP) and Amtrak have announced plans to conduct a study that would help finalize a cooperative agreement to operate the passenger train for the I-20 corridor over a track that had been owned by Kansas City Southern (KCS) prior to CP’s approved acquisition of KCS. 

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