Former railroad administrator bullish on Amtrak

Published 1:28 am Friday, January 30, 2009

Former federal railroad administrator Gil Carmichael is bullish on the future of passenger rail service in the United States.

Carmichael, FRA leader under the first President Bush, tells Meridian television station WTOK that thanks to the energy crisis and gasoline prices skyrocketing, ridership increased on Amtrak significantly.

Carmichael says Meridian sees about 50,000 passengers a year. Right now only one train, The Crescent, runs through Meridian, to New Orleans. He says that may change, as Amtrak should receive a huge cash jolt from President Obama’s proposed stimulus package.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Carmichael says Amtrak has several options if the company receives the money. He says he’s hoping a route from Meridian to Dallas and the Jackson airport will be added.