LA: Baton Rouge - New Orleans Commuter Rail

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LA: Baton Rouge - New Orleans Commuter Rail

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:54 am

In the news: NOLA.com

Brief, fair-use quote:

Commuter rail linking New Orleans to Baton Rouge has broad support, big obstacles

...

Jindal's decision put supporters of renewed rail service on their heels. But they regrouped, and the Legislature created the Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority, an agency focused on resurrecting commuter rail across the seven parishes between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

That group, partnered with the Regional Planning Commission, Capital Region Planning Commission and Baton Rouge Area Foundation, hired the national consulting firm HNTB in January 2013 to conduct a feasibility study of running a passenger rail service on existing freight tracks that hug the Mississippi River. They unveiled that plan in February 2014.

"(Jindal's opposition to federal transit funding) was kind of a good thing," said Kristin Gisleson Palmer, chairwoman of the authority's New Orleans delegation. "What wound up happening was (support for the funding) became more grassroots and parish-based."

The new plan scaled back its high-speed predecessor. Trains would still travel along tracks used for carrying freight. They would still stop at up to seven possible stations, and a station in Kenner would connect to Armstrong Airport by shuttle.

But the trains would not long speed along at 110 mph, settling instead for a top speed of 79 mph. And they would not travel back and forth up to eight times a day. Instead, there would be a morning train leaving in both directions, and an evening train taking passengers home.

...
Next stop, Willoughby
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