Monroe aims to have passenger rail line

Maggie Eubanks

Going on long trips can sometimes be a

hassle when living in Monroe. But Mayor

Friday Ellis and Sen. Bill Cassidy are trying

to make this a problem of the past.

On Nov. 4, Ellis and Cassidy hosted members

of the Southern Rail Commission,

Amtrak and several other companies and

states to discuss a passenger train line coming

to Monroe.

The proposed rail line will connect Monroe

to cities along I-20. According to the

SRC, the passenger line being proposed

would create new stops in Monroe, Shreveport,

Ruston and Vicksburg. The stops

would connect a major expansion connecting

Dallas and Atlanta.

According to Ellis, the City of Monroe has

worked on a meeting of this scale for over

30 years. The work that Ellis and his team

have started to put Monroe back on the map

would get a great leap forward if Monroe

were to get a passenger rail line.

“The City of Monroe is eager to take advantage

of this opportunity to bring new visitors

to our city and showcase the incredible

things we have underway in Monroe,” Ellis


Cassidy said the rail line would not only

help Monroe, but also other states in the

Southeast like Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.

“One of the ways we move forward is

through better transportation and infrastructure,”

Cassidy said. “To succeed, we

have to have vision, strategy, and cooperation.

This conference gives us the strategy

and cooperation to do that.”

Cassidy, along with help from Mississippi

Sen. Roger Wicker, recently helped pass the

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that

will bring $66 million to the project. This

funding helps Amtrak and the SRC see the

I-20 corridor as a viable spot for the passenger


Knox Ross, SRC chairman said, “With

funding available, an agreeable freight and

strong leadership at the state, local and national

level, we are confident that this project

will soon be underway.”

While Monroe residents may not see a passenger

rail line in the near future, hopes are

high that the project will become a reality

in the coming months.