MARSHALL, Texas - The Canadian Pacific (CP) freight railway company announced its support for Amtrak’s expansion of passenger railway services along the Interstate 20 corridor this month.
The two companies said they have reached an agreement, which formalized CP’s support for the expansion.
“Given CP’s consistent record as an Amtrak host, we support CP’s proposal to expand its network. This is exactly what Congress and the Administration are seeking: Amtrak and the freight railroads working together to benefit freight customers, Amtrak passengers, our state/regional partners and the general public,” Amtrak President Stephen J. Gardner said in the announcement.
The announcement also conveyed Amtrak’s support of CP’s proposed merger with Kansas City Southern railways, negotiations for which began in March 2021.
This announcement was welcome new to the members of the 1-20 Corridor Council, a nonprofit advocacy organization and multi-state coalition comprised of mayors, judges, elected officials and other stakeholders along the I-20 Corridor, which has been working consistently for more than 15 years to establish the East-West long-distance passenger rail connection between Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta.
The expansion would also connect to the East Coast, Washington and New York City.
The announcement also stated that if CP’s application for control of KCS is approved by the Surface Transportation Board, the agreement would also include CP’s commitment to support Amtrak’s efforts to work with the Southern Railway Commission and others for the first service in more than 50 years on two U.S. routes.
The two passenger rail routes referenced in the announcement were Amtrak service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge and to study the potential for Amtrak service between Meridian, Mississippi and Dallas, which is the proposed I-20 Corridor passenger rail route and would include Shreveport-Bossier City, Marshall and Longview.
“The I-20 Corridor Council and all who have been working with great devotion to re-establish this important East-West passenger rail connection across the southeastern region of our nation are very pleased and grateful for the positive steps that Amtrak and Canadian Pacific announced this week. We look forward to continued progress in this regard as we continue to work toward making the I-20 Corridor long distance passenger rail connection a reality for the great benefit of our Southern region and nation,” former Texas State Senator and former Harrison County Judge Richard Anderson, the chairman of the I-20 Corridor Council said.