Money for station upgrades awarded for Gulf Coast train plan

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An Amtrak train waits at a platform prior to its departure at Union Station November 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — Three Mississippi cities and Birmingham, Alabama have been awarded grants to improve their train stations ahead of the planned return of Amtrak service to the Gulf Coast.

The Biloxi Sun Herald reports that Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Pascagoula received a little more than $700,000 total, and another $250,000 went to Birmingham. The newspaper said the grants were announced on Monday by the Southern Rail Commission.

The money will fund improvements to amenities such as lighting, sidewalks and parking areas. Amtrak hopes to resume operating between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama in January.

The region has been without passenger service since Hurricane Katrina badly damaged tracks and equipment in 2005.

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