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Transportation

The Human Cost of Losing Amtrak

Hundreds of towns and cities would lose rail service under President Trump’s proposed budget—and some of them have few other options.
A man sleeps on an Amtrak train near Birmingham, Alabama.
A man sleeps on an Amtrak train near Birmingham, Alabama.Carlos Barria/Reuters

The Amtrak station in Mobile, Alabama closed in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina flooded it. The storm wiped out passenger rail service across the Gulf Coast region, closing stations between Florida and Louisiana. Mobile’s waterlogged station was razed in 2007.

The loss of the Gulf Coast service left Mobile residents who don’t drive with fewer transportation options. While there’s an airport within a half-hour’s drive, it’s quite expensive to fly out of the city: A flight from Mobile to Orlando can cost up to $500. Meanwhile, bus lines have decreased service, too, due to budget problems.