Passenger rail service could be coming to NWLA

Bossier City, La. — BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Passenger rail service could be coming to the I-20 corridor in north Louisiana.

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, Senator Bill Cassidy met with city officials and community leaders to discuss the possibility of this passenger rail service to run between Atlanta and the Dallas/Fort Worth region through north Louisiana. Cassidy says the likelihood of this happening has increased thanks to the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides for $66 million in funding for passenger and freight rail service.

“An I-20 corridor passenger rail line, connecting to Atlanta and Dallas, will allow someone to live where they want and easily commute within Louisiana and beyond,” Sen. Cassidy. “State and local leadership, taking advantage of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, can make this happen.”

If built, the railway would provide another form of transportation for people traveling to Dallas, Atlanta, or somewhere along I-20. It would connect more than 14 million residents throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Sen. Cassidy says back in 2015, Amtrak did a feasibility study that showed such a project could be profitable over the existing railroad structure. Then in 2017, a capacity study showed a capital expenditure investment of less than $80 million in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi was required for the project.

Sen. Cassidy says Canadian Pacific Railway has offered to acquire Kansas City Southern Railway; the merger is pending approval by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. The two companies have announced plans to do a safety study to finalize their agreement for the I-20 corridor project.

“We have an opportunity to connect north Louisiana to Dallas and Atlanta via rail, bringing visitors and commerce to our region,” said Knox Ros, secretary and treasurer of the Southern Rail Commission. “That opportunity is only possible because of Senator Cassidy’s infrastructure plan. We appreciate the senator’s leadership.”

Rachael Thomas

Rachael Thomas

Rachael Thomas is the Digital Content Manager for KSLA News 12 in Shreveport, La.