Amtrak Gulf Coast Service

Time Out: Preparing for Round 9

The battle over Amtrak’s proposal to run two daily round trips between Mobile and New Orleans is far from over. It is about to heat up again after a two-month lull, but the STB announced on July 11 that the relative calm (at least as far as the public will notice) will last a little longer.

Commentary

STB Calls ‘Time Out’ in Mobile Slugfest. What’s Next?

Many have been waiting for the ongoing battle at the Surface Transportation Board (STB) between Amtrak on one side and CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Port of Mobile on the other (Docket No. FD-36496) to resume on Monday, June 13. The issue was how much infrastructure would have to be built before Amtrak can run two daily round trips between New Orleans and Mobile.

Gulf Coast Battle, Rounds 7-8

The slugfest between Amtrak on one side and CSX, NS, and the Port of Mobile on the other, has been long. It has lasted for ten full days plus an afternoon so far, and reached its originally scheduled conclusion on Thursday, May 11. That was the half-day, following the morning appearance of Chair Martin J. Oberman and other members of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) before the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee.

Round 6: The Port Raises a Statutory Issue

At this writing, Amtrak is preparing to present its case to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) disputing the amount of new infrastructure that potential host railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern claim must

Round 5: A Skirmish Over a Model

The “Second Battle of Mobile” is in full swing. Prospective host railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern, along with the Port of Mobile, are in a hearted dispute with Amtrak at the Surface Transportation Board (STB) about how much infrastructure must be built between New Orleans and Mobile before Amtrak will be allowed to run two daily round trips between those cities.

Round 4: A Battle Within a Battle

The battle between Amtrak and potential host railroads CSX and NS, joined by the Port of Mobile, entered a new stage April 4, as the first witnesses began their appearances before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in the first case that will decide how and on what conditions Amtrak will be allowed to initiate new passenger service. The entire afternoon and the start of proceedings on April 5 featured a single witness. There was only one more during that day’s 8½-hour session, and only one other on April 6. April 5’s morning’s events featured a skirmish within the principal battle: a mini-slug-out in which both sides can claim victory, but CSX may have been the bigger winner.

Commentary
  • News

Gulf Coast Battle: A Possible Solution

As the evidentiary hearing regarding the reintroduction and expansion of Amtrak passenger train service between New Orleans and Mobile continues before the Surface Transportation Board, interesting operational cost-sharing questions have emerged regarding how Amtrak trains may be able to coexist with very long CSX freights.

Round 3: Raising Legal Issues in a Case of First Impression

At this writing, the first witness in the slugfest between Amtrak on one side and CSX, NS and the Port of Mobile on the other, is focusing on confidential matters. That creates an opportunity to think further about the importance of the case and how to report it to you. We had previously thought that a single report about this week’s hearing before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) would be sufficient, but the opening statements made by the parties April 4 forced a change in plans.