Pirates of the Bay Railroad
By Geoff Belcher
Feb 16, 2016, 20:37
The Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse is planning a “pirate rally” on Thursday to help convince Amtrak to put Bay St. Louis back on its passenger rail route.
On Thursday and Friday, Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) are scheduled to conduct a tour to examine new ideas for intercity passenger rail by operating an inspection train from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Fla., with a stop in Bay St. Louis at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday.
The inspection train, hosted by Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, will carry elected officials, industry representatives, community leaders and federal officials, according to an Amtrak news release.
“The goal of the invitation-only trip is to examine the existing CSX railroad infrastructure and to better understand rail’s economic, cultural and mobility opportunities,” the release said. “It will provide an unparalleled perspective on reintroducing intercity passenger rail along the Gulf Coast. The special train will be at each of these stations for 10 minutes before departing.”
The Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse Carnival group wants “to get Bay Saint Louis hyped up about Amtrak,” Margaret Cantrell, one of the krewe’s organizers, said in a mass e-mail on Monday. “Instead of showing up at the Depot, we want everyone to try to show up (in pirate garb) at the crossing at South Beach by Buoys for when they cross! Bring your golf carts, make signs, we want Amtrak back in the Bay! Then after, we can have an early lunch at Buoys or an early drink.”
City officials also want folks to show up at the Bay Depot on Thursday to help convince SRC and Amtrak officials that there is sufficient interest in the Bay to bring the service back.
“We’re really thrilled that the opportunity to get all of those decision makers in this process — especially the representation from the government and all the government officials who will be there – to get their feet on the ground here and see what the Bay has to offer,” Mayor Les Fillingame said Tuesday.
“We’re hoping that everybody comes to that realization at the same time and we can make this happen. I think it’s feasible. While this is one of the original (passenger service) links, it is now a very viable missing link that needs to be added back to make their system whole.
“If this link gets added back into the system, it will be what they need to make Amtrak work all across the country.”
Check out the Sea Coast Echo Article here.
• Louisiana: New Orleans, 8:45 a.m.
• Mississippi: Bay St. Louis, 10:20 a.m.; Gulfport, 11 a.m.; Biloxi, 11:31 a.m.; Pascagoula, 12:16 p.m.
• Alabama: Mobile, 1:25 p.m.; Atmore, 2:41 p.m.
• Florida: Pensacola, 8 a.m.; Crestview, 9:20 a.m.; Chipley, 11 a.m.; Tallahassee, 2:47 p.m.; Madison, 4:24 p.m.; Lake City, 5:35 p.m.; arriving Jacksonville at 7:15 p.m.
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