Gulf Coast Residents Send Clear Message to Washington
June 25, 2012
Written By Malcolm Kenton
A sizable crowd came to Tallahassee, Florida's former Amtrak station on Saturday, garnering positive media exposure for NARP's joint effort to bring Amtrak service back to the New Orleans-Florida route that has been "suspended" since 2005.
There was free food, live music and a party-type atmosphere, but most of the attendees were there for a reason: they want Amtrak service back in their Gulf Coast communities. The locals interviewed by WCTV-TV expressed how much the lack of train service limited their ability to travel.
NARP Chairman Bob Stewart gave one of the rally's keynote speeches. "This is the state capitol. The capitol ought to have air service, highway service and train services available," he said
“This is a critical need for our nation, not only just for Florida but for the country as we face oil situations, Middle East crisis, we face gas prices coming down now but it's a very big concern for people," Stewart added. "We have an aging population and with 100 million more people in the country by 2050 how are we going to move around the United States,”
As the movement to restore Gulf Coast Amtrak service gains momentum, more pressure will be put on Congress to give Amtrak the funds necessary to make it happen. Thank you for all you've done to help this effort, and please help us hold our elected officials' feet to the fire.
Also in attendance were NARP Director and Southern Division Leader Bill Hutchison and NARP Council member Steve Sayles, as well as Tallahassee NARP member Bart Bibler, who helped organize the rally. Here are some of Sayles' photos:
"Thank you to Jim Mathews and the Rail Passengers Association for presenting me with this prestigious award. I am always looking at ways to work with the railroads and rail advocates to improve the passenger experience."
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3)
February 14, 2020, on receiving the Association's Golden Spike Award