Big update for the new Gulf Coast Service!
Starting this week, crews for the new service have begun “familiarization trips'' along the route between New Orleans and Mobile. They will be trains of route speed, crossing, and station locations. In addition Amtrak and other stakeholders will launch “Operation LifeSaver, with the goal to educate the local population about Amtrak crossing speeds and general safety information.
These test runs have come a few months after an agreement between Amtrak, the freight operators, and the Alabama Port Authority to restart service on these routes. Details have not been officially announced, however, Amtrak has stated it would like to run two daily round trips. This is on the condition that certain upgrades have been made.
Picture note, as of now we have not seen any indication on what kind of equipment will be used on this route. Our guess is, at least initially we will see P-42 with some old Amfleet or Horizon cars. As stated by a commentator of Facebook, there will be a plethora of Horizon cars avaloble to Amtrak as the CALDOT transitions to their new Venture car sets. With that being said, we would really like to see Amtrak’s new Airo train sets on this route.
Service is expected to begin sometime in 2023.