Amtrak’s trains between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama last ran in 2005; service was disrupted by the effects of Hurricane Katrina and never resumed.

Now, train service between the two Gulf Coast cities may be revived, although not as the famed Sunset Limited service it would replace. reports that a $33-million federal grant could help get the trains running again within the next two years.

“It’s not only good for the coastal South, but it’s good for the country,” said John Robert Smith, chairman of Transportation for America and former mayor of Meridian, Miss.

“This kind of success can be replicated in every corner of the country.”

“At Amtrak, we believe services such as this one is what the future of passenger rail service looks like: safe, relevant, and reliable, connecting major markets such as New Orleans and Mobile,” said Joe McHugh, Amtrak’s vice-president of state supported services.

“Amtrak endorsed this grant application because we believe this project makes sense for the Gulf Coast region.”

The money represents half of the funding needed to restore service that includes stops in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula, Mississippi as well as New Orleans and Mobile. The states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama would theoretically provide the rest of the money, but Alabama has not committed to providing its share.

Amtrak also would need to negotiate with the CSX freight line, which uses the same tracks.