Amtrak Train Rolls Into Atmore (With Photo Gallery)

February 19, 2016

An Amtrak inspection train rolled into Atmore Thursday afternoon in advance of the possible return of rail service to the Gulf Coast.

Amtrak’s Sunset Limited passenger train, which included service from New Orleans through Pensacola to Jacksonville, came to an end along the Gulf Coast due to damage from Hurricane Katrina. The restored rail service would breathe life back into abandoned train stations in Pensacola and Atmore and other cities along the way.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown of Florida was on board the train. She told the hundreds gathered in Atmore that she’s wants to see the service eventually extended to Orlando.

The invitation-only train arrived in Atmore on Thursday/ Passengers boarded buses to spend the night at the Wind Creek Hotel in Atmore, while the empty train continued to Pensacola.. On Friday morning, the passengers were bused to Pensacola to re-board the train at 8 a.m. and continue on to stops in Crestview, Chipley, Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

The train is a test of sorts, testing the potential route and testing the willingness of state leaders from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana to provide millions in funding for the daily train service. If funding were to be approved, officials said it would be about two years before the train would roll again.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Pictured below: U.S. Congresswoman photos, click to enlarge.


12 Responses to “Amtrak Train Rolls Into Atmore (With Photo Gallery)”

  1. 429SCJ on February 20th, 2016 5:45 am

    When I was stationed in Germany, the trains stopped at each village and rolled right on down the line. Just like Century, Bluff Springs, McDavid, Bogia, Molino and so forth, right on into Pensacola and further. The ECAT bus system at present does appear to adequately provide service to that route along highway 29, and at far lower prices than rail could provide. A cost comparison by experts would be interesting to see.

    America’s suburban culture and the automobile are major factors as to why we cannot establish such rail service here in America. Maybe when fuel prices go back up significantly, rail travel will have more appeal.

    I do not see anyone who moved out to the country returning to the towns, especially in Atmore.

  2. Haley on February 19th, 2016 10:35 am

    I hope they bring back Amtrak to this area. I think it is a nice way to travel. Kinda brings back the old way of life. I have never had the opportunity to travel by train, however those ppl I know that have used Amtrak have had great experiences and really enjoyed it. I just think it is a great idea. Hope it does make it back this way.

  3. Ron on February 19th, 2016 9:37 am

    Train travel is great if you are retired and don’t have to keep to a schedule. It’s not as inexpensive as some believe. Apparently they haven’t checked prices lately. That being said I have to reiterate:

    AMTRAK service from Jacksonville to New Orleans will never be reliable or on schedule because AMTRAK does not own the tracks. CSX owns the tracks and CSX trains take priority and right-of-way which is as it should be. AMTRAK service was discontinued from JAX to PNCLA because it was not feasible or cost effective and nothing has changed. It can only be re-established if it is heavily subsidized with tax dollars. While it sounds nice and generates some interest, after the initial enthusiasm dies down, everyone will wonder why their tax dollars are going to support something that only appeals to or benefits a small segment of the population. If the casinos want train service, then they should be willing to subsidize it.

  4. dman on February 19th, 2016 9:04 am

    It may not be all that profitable, but, America is grossly behind when it comes to infrastructure and ease of portability. I’ve spent a great deal of time abroad, and I’m telling you firsthand…it’s better overseas. And a lot of that is covered with tax dollars. If you want to be able to travel cheaper, and be able to have less hassle to go see family & friends, go on vacation, etc…you’re going to have to come off of it somewhere. Americans cringe at the thought of tax dollars going to something that they don’t support, but you can’t please everybody. And bringing Amtrak back would be a great thing for a whole lot of people. So, get over it. Bring it back.

  5. Another Guy on February 19th, 2016 8:41 am

    I like watching and riding trains, but I agree with That Guy about this being a big payoff sponsored by taxpayers.

    There’s a good reason the railroads were happy to dump passenger service over 40 years ago: it’s not profitable, and it won’t be profitable.

    Railroads are great for moving merchandise, but passenger trains are just high-dollar nostalgia.

  6. That guy on February 19th, 2016 6:53 am

    I guess I’m gonna be that guy. Amtrak hasn’t generated a profit since its inception. It is subsidized by taxpayers. Also, didn’t you know all notice the recent track work being done on almost all of the railroad tracks in the area. This was taking place because the current track conditions were not up to standard for the speed of the Amtrak trains. The lobbyists for CSX and other rail companies push for Amtrak because the track maintenance and repair is subsidized by the taxpayers as well. So all of these politicians that are out telling us how great this is, are in it for the donations to their campaigns. Politicians get campaign donations, CSX get a new track free of charge, and we get more of our tax dollars wasted.

  7. SHO-NUFF on February 19th, 2016 3:19 am

    Air travel is safer than Rail .
    The “Sunset Limited” was not profitable when it ceased to run years ago and it won’t be now.
    I absolutely love trains and traveling by rail, but doubt it will ever happen again in our area. It’s cost prohibitive and will never happen in our area.

  8. Puddin on February 18th, 2016 8:11 pm

    Can’t wait. I love traveling by train! Cheaper than planes (safer too) and more fun than cars. If you can afford it, go first class. The rooms are awesome.

  9. Sandy Clemmons on February 18th, 2016 7:55 pm

    Many years ago, my mom lived in Lake Wales FL. I rode the Amtrak with my 2 young sons from Atmore to Orlando for less than $50. It was not expensive, it was way less stressful than driving with 2 small boys and it was a very enjoyable trip. Loved the sightseeing car with all of the windows. Now that they are grown, I told my husband that it would be nice just to go for a ride. Not worry about driving, or where to stay for the night or where to get something to eat. It’s all covered with Amtrak. Love it.

  10. J.Larry Seal on February 18th, 2016 7:27 pm

    I was there today.. The mayor and all the
    “good” folks of Atmore really know how
    to impress the VIP with Amtrak…………

  11. Spalding on February 18th, 2016 6:01 pm

    Behind all the ill imagined downsides of Amtrak restarting service to our neck of the woods, it would be a positive for the region…Atmore, Pensacola and points east.

    Many who couldn’t afford airfare would be able to travel using the train.

    If you’ve never ridden a train to a destination, it is good. Plan ahead and enjoy the ride as well as seeing parts of our country you may not see otherwise.

  12. Celeste V. Campbell on February 18th, 2016 5:43 pm

    It Rolled thru Barth, also ! (Just an hour or so, ago)
    Didn’t Stop, but Surely Rolled Thru !
    Loved seeing it pass by.

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