City officials in Mobile, Alabama have signed off on a plan that would establish Amtrak train service between the Gulf Coast city and New Orleans.

WLOX reports that the city council voted 6-1 in favour of the Southern Rail Commission’s proposal for new rail service between the two cities, with stops at Pascagoula and Bay St Louis in Mississippi, as well.

“We have a lot of money leaving this city going to the casinos in Mississippi and Louisiana and it’s time we keep some of that money in Alabama, in Mobile,” said council member C.J. Small.

Council member Gina Gregory added: “I look at this as an amenity for our citizens more than a tourist attraction but either way, it’s for our citizens so they can enjoy getting on the train and going to New Orleans or going to Mississippi.

“I also do hope to see some tourists coming in … so that we can bring tourists into town to enjoy our little spot here on the Gulf Coast.”

Service is schedule to commence in 2023, contingent upon the Southern Rail Commission’s ability to secure matching funds for the project.

Business Traveller recently spoke to  Caroline Decker, vice president of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Service Line, about the future of US rail travel: 

Amtrak says growing demand makes case for US rail funding