PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola City Council voted Thursday night to send a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration to show their support for re-establishing Amtrak passenger rail service in Northwest Florida.
“Mayors from New Orleans to Tallahassee and beyond are also putting their letters in so this will be an additional help to getting this thing done,” Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves said.
In the letter, the city notified the federal government it is applying for a $500,000 grant which is the first step in getting Amtrak service.
A local non-profit has turned the old Amtrak station into a museum honoring women veterans. The city celebrated its ribbon cutting in 2021 but last week, the group sent a letter to the city requesting to terminate the lease.
“Obviously they’re passionate about honoring veterans and all of the trainings and everything that they were doing on site,” Reeves said. “They just have different plans for the future.”
Reeves said this week in his weekly news conference the lease termination is just a coincidence as they try to bring back passenger rail service.
“That departure has nothing to do with any interest with Amtrak,” Reeves said. “Anything that would happen with Amtrak with us would be years from now more than likely and there was already a clause in the lease that if passenger rail service came back that we would be able to end that lease.”