Episode 83: Back on Track? Railroad Merger May Hasten Return of Passenger Service Between New Orleans and Baton Rouge

Last week, Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway finalized a $31 billion dollar purchase of Kansas City Southern railway. The deal, which is North America’s first major merger of Class I railroads in 20 years, could have a noticeable impact in south Louisiana, where some of Kansas City Southern’s 6,700 miles of track is located. John Spain is the executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and a member of the Southern Rail Commission. On this week’s podcast, Spain talks about the deal’s implications, including how it may hasten the return of passenger rail service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.


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John Spain is the executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, where he oversees projects that aim to solve fundamental problems across south Louisiana. His work has included healthcare and education reform, economic development and renewal of inner-city neighborhoods. He spearheaded a project that created the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, which won $60 million in federal tax credits for inner city rebuilding in its first try. His latest projects include implanting passenger rail linking Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and master plans for the medical district in Baton Rouge and for the lakes next to LSU.



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