North Florida Communities Push For Amtrak Service As Train Starts Rolling

Feb 19, 2016

Residents of Chipley line up to greet Amtrak officials as they company considers restoring passenger service to North Florida.
Credit City of Tallahassee

Local officials are doing everything they can to restore passenger rail service to the Capital City, and that includes urging local residents to show up to greet Amtrak officials when a test train comes to town.

Update 5:08 p.m.: Big crowds in Chipley and Tallahassee greeted Amtrak officials Friday in a show of support for the service.

Tallahassee resident Rebecca Clemens is an Amtrak fan. She says she’s ridden more than 25,000 miles with the company.

“You see the country, you travel day and night. You meet people…and immediately train stories start. It’s just an incredible way to travel," she said.

Clemens doesn’t fly, and says not having train service locally creates a gap in the region’s transportation system.

“Who is running the city? This is fantastic," said Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman during the Tallahassee stop.

"We’ve had a wonderful roll through Florida. You guys are going to make this happen. We’re going to be stopping at this station. Keep up the good work, we will be back soon," he said.

Amtrak is considering whether to restore passenger rail service from Jacksonville to Pensacola. The Sunset Limited line ended North Florida service in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. Unknown is how much tickets will cost, and when, or if the service will be reinstated.

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http://www.wfsu.org/local-routes/segments/fired-amtrak-ready-roll

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Original Post: The train is making stops from Pensacola to Jacksonville as Amtrak explores re-starting its Sunset Limited Service. It stopped after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman is expected to speak for about 10 minutes when the train arrives in Tallahassee at 2:30 p.m. at railroad square. The WFSU-TV is riding the train. Follow them on twitter @wfsumedia.

Check back for full story later today. Enjoy the picture blog below.

The view from inside:

Coming soon to a crowd near you...

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