BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards and Stephen Gardner, the CEO of Amtrak, signed an agreement to develop passenger services between New Orleans and Baton Rouge by 2027. 

This will restore train travel for the first time since 1969. Edwards said this project will create a better quality of life for residents and tourists by providing safe and reliable transportation. 

State leaders hope that this railway can potentially reduce the number of cars on the roadways, helping with traffic congestion. 

The governor also said the state will get an economic boost from this for New Orleans, Baton Rouge and everything in between.

“Obviously there are some improvements that have to happen all along the tracks here. And we have a plan for $200 million in federal grant money to be matched by $50 million a year in order to undertake those upgrades. And very excited about that,” Edwards said.

Edwards said this is possible because of the bipartisan infrastructure law. 

According to the agreement, the passenger service construction starts next year and is expected to be complete by 2027. 

Services will start with one round trip daily and then twice or more daily depending on the demand for it. Also, Amtrak service between New Orleans and Mobile, AL is expected to start next year.