BATON ROUGE, La. (KMSS/KTAL) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has appointed Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins as an at-large member of the Southern Rail Commission, which supports and influences Southern Rail initiatives.
The Commission is made up of three states – Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi – and each state’s governor appoints their state members. Currently, Alabama has six member, Louisiana has five and Mississippi has four.
The Commission was formed after the 97th Congress adopted a bill allowing for the formation of an Interstate Rail Compact that allows contiguous states to become members.
Although each state has its own projects, Louisiana’s priorities rest in the Long Range Project I-20 Corridor.
Some of those include the proposed I-20 Rail Corridor service that will connect the mega-regions of Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta with the economies and populations of Northern Louisiana and beyond through connections with Amtrak’s Texas Eagle, City of New Orleans, and Crescent trains.
In 1989, when the late Bossier City Mayor George Dement took office, getting Amtrak passenger service in the Bossier Shreveport area became a priority, and the dream has stayed alive on both sides of the river for the past three decades.
In 2015, the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments completed a feasibility study for the 2nd segment for this passenger rail service to link Dallas-Fort Worth, Shreveport and Vicksburg, Mississippi. This study was funded by the State of Louisiana and is part of the Long Range Project I-20 Corridor.
In addition to Perkins, Edwards reappointed John M. Spain of Baton Rouge as a member-at-large. Spain is the executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and will serve at large.