Alternate Transportation

By: Chris Brennaman
By: Chris Brennaman

Amtrak's service through Meridian has been disrupted, following two train accidents in Alabama. The train is expected to begin running again Monday, January 23rd.

Omar Taylor is attending truck driving school in Atlanta. Sunday, he didn't have much choice when leaving Union Station. Amtrak was closed, but Greyhound was running. But, he says that even if Amtrak had started running again, it wouldn't matter. He's not getting on a train anytime soon.

"Me, personally...I wouldn't recommend trains because of all the previous accidents that have happened over the last couple of years. And I don't like flying, so my choice would be Greyhound." said Taylor.

Omar's mom says she's not going to let him get on the train.

"Just knowing that they just had two accidents, no I wouldn't even consider signing up to travel on Amtrak again. I would definitely stick with Greyhound. And I'm sure a lot of other people will be riding Greyhound rather than Amtrak," said Taylor's mother Georgia Cleveland.

Cleveland says it doesn't matter to her that last week's accidents involved freight trains, not passenger trains. She feels like the problem goes beyond what type of train is on the tracks.

"There's something wrong with the tracks that the Amtrak travels on. And that would cause me to still have concern. Just as much if it were a passenger train," said Cleveland.

Greyhound ticket agents say that they have seen an increase in ticket sales since Monday, January 16th, when Amtrak's service was first disrupted from the accidents.

Amtrak officials could not be reached for comment, but Newscenter 11 was told Amtrak service in Meridian will resume January 23rd.

The Crescent Line, which runs from New Orleans to New York will run in it's entirety. After Hurricane Katrina the train had only gone as far south as Atlanta with no service between Atlanta and New Orleans. The train departs northbound at 11:17 am and toward the Cescent City at 2:50

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