Wicker Receives Honor for Leadership on Passenger Rail Issues

Miss. Senator Given ‘Golden Spike’ Award for Efforts to Strengthen, Expand Rail Service

April 13, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today received the “Golden Spike” Award from the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP). The award is in recognition of Wicker’s leadership and support of passenger rail in the bipartisan “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.” Wicker was presented with the honor during the group’s annual congressional reception Tuesday evening.

“Our country’s transportation infrastructure will receive the boost it has desperately needed thanks to new federal investments,” said Senator Wicker. “I look forward to the prospect of restoring passenger rail to the Gulf Coast more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina. This unique opportunity could help reopen the doorway to new economic opportunities and job growth for the millions of people living in the region. I appreciate this recognition and remain dedicated to strengthening rail as an important part of our overall transportation system.”

Last year, Wicker and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bipartisan measure to improve passenger rail safety, reauthorize Amtrak services, and improve existing rail infrastructure. The bill, “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act,” established the Gulf Coast working group with Mississippi representatives to study the return of passenger rail service from New Orleans to Orlando across the Gulf Coast. In February, Wicker participated in the Gulf Coast rail inspection trip, the first passenger train to operate on the line since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the area in 2005.

NARP is a national organization supported by more than 28,000 members, representing nearly 40 million users of passenger trains and rail transit. The association’s mission is to work toward a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice preferred by Americans. Former honorees of the “Golden Spike” Award include Walt Disney and Johnny Cash.