Carl speaks out on possibility of Amtrak service

Published 2:23 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Congressman Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) issued the following statement Tuesday regarding a letter he has sent to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), urging the Board to require the completion of the feasibility study prior to the return of Amtrak service to Mobile. This letter is in response to Amtrak’s decision last month to initiate the process to permit daily Amtrak trains between New Orleans and Mobile, without upholding its commenting to a feasibility study to determine the impact of passenger rail on the Port of Mobile and the commercial interests of Alabama.

The letter is also signed by Reps. Robert Aderholdt, Mo Brooks, Barry Moore, Gary Palmer, Mike Rogers, and Terri Sewell.

“Last month, I expressed my disappointment in Amtrak’s failures to uphold its commitment to a feasibility study to demonstrate the impact of passenger rail on the Port of Mobile and the commercial interests of Alabama. Amtrak’s ongoing efforts to reintroduce passenger rail service are concerning, so my colleagues and I are urging the Surface Transportation Board to require the completion of a feasibility study prior to the return of Amtrak service in Mobile, because all parties have an obligation to protect the economic interests of Alabama’s workers and businesses,” said Rep. Jerry Carl. 

Amtrak service would no doubt be good for the economy of the Mobile area, but if it will come at the expense of the greater economy of the port, then that isn’t an acceptable trade off. Amtrak needs to work with all of the stakeholders to come to an equitable solution,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt.

“In March, Amtrak abruptly made the decision to attempt to reestablish rail service along the Gulf Coast without having completed a feasibility study, which they previously agreed to carry out. To move ahead with the project despite real concerns about the rail traffic economic impact to Alabama and costs to taxpayers is wrong. The Alabama people deserve to know how this rail line is going to impact their pocketbooks. The feasibility study must be completed before moving forward,” said Rep. Mo Brooks.

“Reintroducing the Amtrak passenger rail service will be undoubtedly beneficial to the economy in Alabama, but it cannot come at the expense of the Port of Mobile’s economic success,” said Rep. Barry Moore.

“The Port of Mobile is essential to the economic vitality and well-being of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. A comprehensive feasibility analysis should be conducted before this process moves forward,” said Rep. Terri Sewell.

Congressman Carl’s office can be reached at 202-225-4931.