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There has been an apparent agreement in a long-running dispute between Amtrak, freight rail carriers and the Alabama Port Authority over the resumption of passenger rail on the Gulf Coast.

The portion of the Sunset Limited route east of New Orleans had been shut down since 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. However, Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway, the Alabama State Port Authority and the Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks have been going back and forth on a proposal to get the route between New Orleans and Mobile running again.

The Surface Transportation Board has allowed mediation, and it appears the entities have settled on an agreement. In a group filing, the parties asked for a November 30 hearing to be put off and to allow them to work together to implement their agreed plan.

"We have collectively reached an agreement to support passenger and freight service in the Gulf Coast Corridor," read a joint statement from CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Alabama Port Authority.

Freight rail lines own many of the rails used by Amtrak. For months, those freight lines have argued that Amtrak using the line between Mobile and New Orleans could cause backups in supply chains.

More information about the agreement is expected to be released at a later date.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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