Future of Tuscaloosa Amtrak service in question

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Passenger train service could be a thing of the past in cities like Tuscaloosa unless Congress approves additional funding.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox met with Amtrak representatives this week to talk about the future of the passenger train service and how Amtrak can help Tuscaloosa get a new train station.

Amtrak essentially pays for itself in the Southeast but loses money in more rural regions.

However, that doesn’t mean rail service in Tuscaloosa isn’t needed.

“Tuscaloosa, because of its location to Birmingham, will never have a commercial airline hub,” Maddox said. ”What we could, possibly have, though, is one of the best rail services in the southeast, and so, I think that’s an opportunity we need to continue to explore. It’s good for tourism, it’s good for economic development.”

Amtrak currently sells around 1,000 tickets in Tuscaloosa each month. They think those numbers would go up if the station were to be modernized.

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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