Meridian-Dallas line delayed Eleven local Amtrak workers temporarily laid off
By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
May 19, 2001
Amtrak's start of a Meridian-to-Dallas passenger rail service has been delayed at least until early next year, resulting in the temporary layoffs of 11 employees recently hired to work on the new line.
The Crescent Star was to begin the service some time this summer, but officials said a delay in confirming presidential appointees to key Amtrak positions has delayed the process. The new Amtrak executives are key to the process of securing money for rail line improvements.
Amtrak officials have reached an agreement to use rail lines owned by Kansas City Southern. However, improvements need to be made to the tracks, and the companies are in the process of securing a federal Railroad Infrastructure Fund loan to have the work done.
Six engineers and five assistant conductors, all recently hired to work on the Meridian-to-Dallas line, have been temporarily laid off, according to Amtrak's Debbie Hare, senior director of government and public affairs.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.