Amtrak is back, New Orleans route re-opens

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For those of you looking to take a weekend getaway down to New Orleans or other parts around the state you can now do so by train again out of Jackson. 

Amtrak has re-opened its full route between Chicago and Louisiana.

It’s been three months since Amtrak was cut off from heading any further south from Jackson, but now less flooding has closed Louisiana spillways opening up full service to New Orleans. 

From the NOLA gulf area all the way up to the Great Lakes region, Amtrak has been one of Jackson’s biggest gateways to see the country. 

“It’s our second Amtrak ride on this trip so far and this one is fantastic,” passenger Delphin said. 

A convenient travel route which was temporarily closed due to flooding from the Mississippi putting Louisiana tracks in danger. 

“They have to open the Bonnet Carre Spillway at a certain point in flooding,” Knox Ross of the Southern Rails Commission explained. “And when they do that it becomes dangerous for passenger trains to get into New Orleans.”

Since May any travelers looking to go down the line south of Jackson have had to rely on buses which is more time consuming and been a financial burden for Amtrak. 

“If they’re going to ride a bus, they’re just not going to buy a ticket, so all of that is at Amtrak expense,” Ross continued. “So when the Bonnet Carre Spillway opens they can’t run the trains. They have to be serviced here in Jackson or Memphis and Amtrak has to pay for the busses.” 

This was a big inconvenience for travelers wanting to get away. They were all smiles to be back riding the rails. 

“I’m a student so I always bring my book bag and laptop to get a lot of work done,” Carlie Reeves said. “On my way up there, time goes by faster.”

“It’s the convenience, it’s the comfort and the fast time that it takes so it’s very better than the bus,” Suzette told us.

And to celebrate being back in its full route Amtrak is offering a buy one ticket for any car and you get one free on your next trip. 

There will be two full services everyday going up to Chicago than back down to New Orleans. You can purchase your tickets here at the union station in Jackson or on their website Amtrak.com.

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