Bad faith arguments continue: Another look at the #SoNotBusy Gulf Coast Corridor


Over a month ago, we explained why freight railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern (NS) were trying to halt the return of passenger rail service on the Gulf Coast—an effort that could hinder passenger rail service across the country. Well, CSX is still at it, and their easily-disputed claims are proof that freight railroads have had free rein to stand in the path of passenger rail for far too long.

The long-anticipated return of passenger rail service on the Gulf Coast is moving forward once again. But there’s still a ways to go.

There’s simply no better way to illustrate our point than with a video, so here’s yet another look at the supposedly “busy” (according to freight railroad CSX) Gulf Coast corridor. Amtrak only wants to run two round-trip trains on this track between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., but this video documents train activity from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Pay close attention to that bridge. In the latest Surface Transportation Board (STB) hearing, CSX claimed that the Pascagoula Bridge poses an obstacle to the return of passenger rail service because the bridge is “always down.” But from where we’re standing, the bridge is up quite a bit.

This is yet another easily contested argument presented by CSX to derail the wildly popular return of passenger rail service to the Gulf Coast. Given all the time they had to prepare, we might expect them to come up with something a bit more concrete. But unfortunately, the truth is they historically haven’t had to come up with strong arguments to get their way.

Tactics like these aren’t exclusive to CSX, and it’s important to note that freight railroads alone aren’t the only thing holding passenger rail back. But CSX’s bad faith arguments continue to show why it’s important to compile rail data and hold freight railroads accountable. Freight has been able to claim tracks like the ones running through Pascagoula are “just too busy” for far too long, and passenger rail service has suffered across the country as a result. With the new funds under the 2021 infrastructure law and climate needs only growing stronger, it’s time to make passenger rail a more available resource for all.

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