Governor to Board Amtrak VIP Train in Bay St. Louis
News Break - 2/7/2016
Governor Phil Bryant is coming to Bay St. Louis to board an Amtrak train, and if local leaders have their way, he’s just the first of thousands who will have that opportunity.
A special VIP Amtrak train will depart New Orleans on Thursday, February 18, making 13 stops over the course of two days before it reaches its final destination, Jacksonville, Florida. On board will be at least 60 VIPs, including the president of Amtrak, who are gathering information as Amtrak considers restoration of passenger service along the gulf coast. According to information from the Southern Rail Commission, the train's first stop is scheduled from 10:10am to 10:20am at the Bay's historic depot, when Mississippi’s governor will board.
The Big Buzz
“All the decision-makers will be on board that train,” says Moon. “It’s crucial they understand how much we support the restoration of the passenger line.”
She also encourages local citizens to be at the depot or at any of the crossings as the train passes through town.
“Wave, jump up and down and bring a sign of welcome,” she says. “Nothing else should take priority the morning that train comes through. Restoration of that service represents an enormous positive change for Bay St. Louis."
Moon points out that the train will allow easy access to the Bay for New Orleanians - and for visitors to the city who want to take a side trip. Also, coast residents will finally have transportation options to New Orleans and other destinations across the coast. Currently, there is no public transportation between New Orleans and the coast.
Historically, train service connecting the Bay and New Orleans made it possible for many city dwellers to have second homes on the coast. Business people commuted to work in the city by train. Often, entire families moved to the coast for the summer, with heads of households commuting as well. Moon believes the time has come to revive that successful model of the past.
Several local groups are collaborating on plans to greet the train, including the office of the Mayor, the Old Town Merchants’ Association, the Bay St. Louis Rotary, Hancock County Tourism and the Hancock Chamber.
“We all understand how passenger train service would be a real game-changer,” says Moon. “Showing our enthusiasm and support is one way we can help make this a reality.”
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The Amtrak Train's Schedule
Bay St. Louis Makes #19 on Southern Living's Best Places in the South List!
The February 50th Anniversary edition of Southern Living Magazine features the "50 Best Places in the South Now" - and Bay St. Louis was named #19! The same feature is included in the online edition of the magazine too! Here's why we were selected:
Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, has added new waterfront restaurants and bars, along with shops, galleries, and an inn for historic Old Town. Its new harbor opened in 2014 (mswestcoast.org).
Also included on the list were Biloxi (#21), Orlando (#10), and Raleigh (#26).