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CHALLENGE FOR WALT MADDOX: Let’s actually ride Amtrak before we start begging to waste Alabama money on it

I am convinced that the people who are upset that Gov. Kay Ivey is not spending almost $5.3 million dollars on an Amtrak investment in south Alabama have never taken an Amtrak in their lives. Yellowhammer News’s Jeff Poor nailed how absurd this entire idea is when he wrote that the previous Amtrak service to New Orleans took 10 minutes longer than just driving there, but for that convenience, you are at the mercy of a notoriously unreliable service.

Does anyone know why they canceled this train line in the first place? Hurricane damage? Why is there no clamoring for its return? Simple: it sucks.

So before we declare this is some major economic boom for Mobile and Alabama in general, let’s see if we can get some of these people on the Amtraks that exist right now in the state:


For $47 dollars Mayor Maddox and his crew (I am buying) can board a train and ride for seven hours and 24 minutes to New Orleans. They will then stop in Pascagoula, Biloxi, Gulfport and Bay St. Louis, Miss. When they arrive, even if they get there on time (they will not), I will already be three Hand Grenades in because driving takes five hours.

Why this matters:

No one is going to ride this stupid train, this is just a way for Alabama Democrats to say “Alabama sucks.” If only we would seek out more federal government money, any government money, for any reason, the state would be better off. This ignores the “major disruption” the Amtrak commuter rail would cause at the bustling Port of Mobile, where actual money is being made.

This also ignores that more routes will only cost the federal government because of how terrible Amtrak is at actually making money, which according to Wired.com “has been losing money since it was founded during the Nixon administration.”

The only reason Maddox is even talking on this issue is so he can get the phrase “Alabama is not ‘on the right track‘ out to his media allies. I look forward to Mayor Maddox letting me show him how terrible this idea actually is.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN