Mobile Approves Amtrak Train Depot

Mobile’s Zoning Board of Adjustment granted a special exception to allow Amtrak to build a passenger train depot at Government Street directly across Water Street from the Exploreum Science Center, AL.com reported. The vote followed only supportive statements and comments from the public and a joint appearance of support from former Gulf Coast rail opponents, the Alabama State Port Authority and CSX, which owns and operates the freight line through Mobile. Their representatives said they supported the project largely due to the inclusion of a 3,000-ft layover track that will be constructed around the same time as the depot. The track will allow Amtrak trains to arrive in Mobile off the CSX mainline and avoid potential freight disruptions at the Port of Mobile. The depot is considered a “temporary” or “interim” rail stop or platform in Downtown Mobile and will be built to serve a twice-daily passenger rail connection between Mobile and New Orleans with four stops in coastal Mississippi. The platform, according to city documents, will be 106 ft long, 12 ft wide and approximately 1,400 ft2. The project will include the installation of station identification signage and solar lighting.

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