Gulf Coast Working Group Report to Congress

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) held the first meeting of the Gulf Coast Working Group (GCWG). Congress directed the formation of the GCWG in December 2015 in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94, § 11304, 129 Stat. 1312, 1655 [Dec. 4, 2015]). Section 11304 of the FAST Act requires the GCWG to evaluate the restoration of intercity passenger rail service between New Orleans, LA and Orlando, FL and to submit a report (Report) to Congress that includes a preferred option for restoring service; the reasons for selecting that option; a prioritized inventory of capital projects; the infrastructure, costs, and benefits associated with restoration of service; potential funding sources; and any other related information. This Report, which fulfills the requirements of Section 11304, identifies the preferred option as restoring service between: New Orleans, LA and Orlando, FL via long-distance train for one daily round trip, and New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL via state-supported train for one daily round trip. This option consists of two of the five alternatives studied by Amtrak for its December 2015 report for the SRC. That report, titled Potential Gulf Coast Service Restoration Options, included an analysis of ridership levels, projected revenues, and associated costs. For the purpose of this Report, Amtrak’s analysis was used to estimate annual operating needs for each service: $5.48 million for the long-distance train between New Orleans and Orlando, and $4 million for the state-supported train between New Orleans and Mobile. The GCWG identified the Orlando and Mobile services as preferred because they outperformed the other options studied by Amtrak in terms of ridership demand and operating funding needs. In addition, they are expected to expand markets for tourism and business travel; reduce vehicular congestion on Interstate 10; improve access to jobs, education, and healthcare; and provide support for disaster and emergency response in a region susceptible to coastal storm events.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 47p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01644659
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 29 2017 10:09AM