BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Connecting the two biggest cities in Louisiana by train, that’s what state leaders talked about Wednesday. This would give new life to the long-standing proposed plans for an inter-city rail.
These long-awaited plans that have been talked about for years are now resurfacing after the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was given the green light on a major new deal.
“It would be very easy and convenient to live in New Orleans and live in Baton Rouge and vice versa,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.
The CPR got one step closer to making this happen by settling a merger with the Kansas City Southern line. This would give CPR ownership of the already existing track between the two cities.
“When we get combined, the first network that’s going to be, what I’d call it, the U.S. MCA railroad, connecting Mexico, the U.S. and Canada,” said Canadian Pacific Strategic Planning and Technology Transformation Senior Vice President James Clements.
The recently passed federal infrastructure bill has led to development opportunities for a new freight rail service in the Gulf South.
“It would be a super-region where New Orleans and Baton Rouge together, competing against the rest of the country rather than each other,” said Gov. Edwards.
Plans also included major infrastructure updates for the older line so it can handle passengers. Officials are looking for this rail to be a catalyst of economic growth.
“Everybody is talking these days about supply chain disruptions and congestion, and with the investments we are going to make we’re adding capacity that would benefit business flowing down into Louisiana,” said Clements.
“I’m particularly excited about the fact that after this acquisition every class one railroad that operated in the United States of America will have access to Louisiana and to our port system,” said Gov. Edwards.
There’s a lot more to this deal, but they are looking for these plans to take off and the merge to be completed at the end of 2022.