The “City of New Orleans Route” passenger Amtrak service from Chicago to New Orleans hosted by Canadian National will soon be making daily stops in Marks. Quitman County Administrator Velma Wilson said the Amtrak route through Marks will be a regular stop for the passenger train service.
“There will be an a.m. southbound train, #58, coming through and then a p.m. northbound train, #59, serving this stop. The morning train’s final destination will be New Orleans and the evening train will be heading back to Chicago.”
Wilson said that the tentative completion date as of now is mid-April.
“We’re about 90 percent completed with the station. The only thing we’re waiting on is the asphalt. And unfortunately, the asphalt company is closed down right now, but they should be reopening soon. Once we get the asphalt down, we’ll have the ribbon-cutting, so hopefully that will take place by the middle of April. I don’t have a definitive date as of now, but weather and asphalt permitting, it will be the middle of April.”
Wilson added that the Amtrak station in Marks had been in the works for 20-plus years, so the completion of this station has been highly anticipated. Canadian National uses the tracks to move freight and Amtrak, of course, moves people.
“Amtrak and Canadian National negotiated and an agreement was reached for Amtrak to stop on the main line in Marks, which was more economical for Quitman County. It is a regional stop and I think that’s one reason we were able to get it done. Our elected officials in Washington, especially Senator Roger Wicker, really did a lot of pushing, and Senator Wicker was really our champion for getting it done. Also Congressman Bennie Thompson and Thad Cochran, they all weighed in on the push to bring the stop to Marks.”