Meridian, Miss. The president and CEO of Amtrak visited Meridian Monday evening to talk about the future of investment in federal passenger rail.
Amtrak officials are traveling around the nation to seek full federal funding. Amtrak President Joe Boardman believes that a strong federal commitment will allow Amtrak to plan multi-year projects to replace older lines. Boardman says that gaining the support of local municipalities plays a key role in garnering the necessary federal funds needed for improvements.
"You've got a beautiful station here. I know there is an interest here in Mississippi for greater train travel," said Boardman. "We've seen a growth here in the last few years Amtrak-wide and a growth of over a third in increase in our ridership. We really think the public is ahead of the politicians in a lot of ways, and the local politicians are ahead of those on the national level."
Boardman came to Meridian after stopping in Tuscaloosa earlier Monday.