City welcomes plans for proposed rail line, stop site purchased

Images by Leslie D. Rose

GONZALES - Citing billions of dollars in planned industrial development throughout the region, leaders of seven southeast Louisiana parishes are calling on the state's next governor to establish passenger rail service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. 

The leaders represent Orleans, East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Jefferson, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and St. James parishes. With a combined population of 2.2 million people, all seven parishes are members of the Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority, a group designated by the Legislature to develop and promote the proposed rail line. 

The Rail Authority organized a media conference on Sept. 16 at the corner of N. Bullion Ave. and E. Railroad St. in Gonzales - the site of what would be Ascension's stop along the proposed rail line. 

The Southern Rail Commission is in the final stages of compiling a gubernatorial briefing book. The document outlines critical steps for the proposed passenger line, including details for funding. It will be presented to candidates in this fall's gubernatorial race, and to the public.