During the Wednesday, Jan. 27 Madison County Commission meeting, Jim Catron brought to the attention of the commissioners that on Friday, Feb. 19, at 4:24 p.m., an Amtrak train would be coming through Madison.
Amtrak used to run through Madison years ago, but after a period of time, the transportation railway shut down. Now, for the first time since then, an Amtrak train will be coming through Madison and stopping at the Amtrak station that is located at 1000 S. Range St.
Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) will be conducting a tour to examine new ideas for intercity passenger rail by operating an Inspection Train from New Orleans to Jacksonville. Madison will be one of the stops between the staring point and destination.
The Inspection Train, hosted by Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, will carry elected officials, industry representatives, community leaders and federal stakeholders. The goal of the invite-only trip will be to examine CSX railroad infrastructure and to better understand the impact surrounding the rail’s economic, cultural and mobility opportunities.
The Inspection Train will stop at each of the stations for 10 minutes before departing again on its journey.
At the County Commission meeting, Catron additionally asked the commissioners to consider bringing back the Amtrak station and if there was interest taken in the upcoming visit, Catron asked the commissioners to support daily rail. Transportation is limited in Madison and Catron mentioned that the re-introduction of the railway would be “good for economic growth.” Catron also commented that the Southern Rail Commission claimed that the return of Amtrak in Madison would be feasible. The Board of Commissioners approved the request 4-0.
“I served as mayor when the commission approved building the station and I support the effort to revive passenger service,” said Catron in a correspondence email to Greene Publishing, Inc. “It would benefit the people and businesses of Madison and [the] surrounding counties.”
The city’s planning for the brief visit is underway and the community is invited to come out and witness the brief return of the Amtrak train that will hopefully be the first of many more visits as the railway is resurrected.