Mobile plans for train station, despite Kay Ivey’s Amtrak snub

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Despite Gov. Kay Ivey’s recent decline to commit funding to restart the Amtrak passenger train service between New Orleans and Mobile, Ala., the Port City is moving ahead with its own plans to build a new train station.

Two weeks ago, Ivey balked at funding for restored coastal Amtrak service, saying by her analysis, restoring a passenger rail service between Mobile and New Orleans would lead to a detrimental impact to the commercial and freight rail services coming in and out of Mobile.

“As we continue to address congestion on our surface transportation systems, both on our highways and rail system, I currently do not plan to provide limited state resources to passenger rail service,” Ivey said in a statement. “We have higher priority opportunities to address congestion on I-10 through the Mobile River Bridge project, expansion of the Port of Mobile and numerous highway projects around the state.”

But on Tuesday, Mobile city officials made clear their differing opinion, announcing their own plans to move ahead with a train station.

According to AL.com, the Mobile City Council voiced it’s plans to approve a $233,000 contract with global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald to design a train station to replace the one destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. The vote for approval is expected to be made next week.

A grant via the Southern Rail Commission would fund the contract.

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