Gilich hails welcoming crowd at Biloxi Amtrak stop

“The people of Biloxi did a great job,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich says of this morning’s turnout of several hundred people to greet Amtrak at CTA’s Biloxi Transit Center.

“Senator Wicker, the governor and the Amtrak folks were impressed with what they saw when the Amtrak train pulled into Biloxi.”

Gilich, his wife, Serena, and daughter Gretchen boarded the Amtrak inspection train in Bay St. Louis and rode all the way to Mobile, catching a CTA bus for the return to Biloxi, arriving at 3 p.m. The train trip allowed Amtrak, state and locat leaders and CSX officials to view public interest along the route from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Fla., making Mississippi Gulf Coast stops in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula.

Amtrak is considering launching daily passenger service between New Orleans and Jacksonville.

“The train was very comfortable and smooth-riding,” Serena Gilich said. “It was great, and we were so proud to see so many people at the stop in Biloxi.”

The train, incidentally, arrived at the transit center at 11:21 a.m., it’s appointed time, and departed 10 minutes later, on schedule.

Quipped the mayor: “They had good crowds in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Pascagoula, but you gotta know the best crowd, the one with that Biloxi DNA, was right here in Biloxi.”

During his State of the City address on Tuesday, Gilich had asked Biloxi residents to gather at the transit center to welcome the train. A host of local vendors – Desporte’s & Sons Seafood, the Old Biloxi Fillin’ Station, Sal & Mookies and Le CafĂ© – served up boiled crawfish, grilled oysters, slices of pizza, beignets and bread pudding.

Crowds began gathering at 10:45 a.m., and were joined by the Biloxi High School pep band, cheerleaders and dance troupe, and dignitaries were led in a second line among the throng as they stepped off the train.

“The Biloxi Whistle Stop,” as the gathering was called, was coordinated by the city, Main Street Biloxi, Coast Transit, and the Biloxi and Biloxi Bay Chambers of Commerce.
See photos from the Biloxi stop
See photos from Bay St. Louis to Mobile
Hear the City Desk podcast from the scene today


News and notes

‘FoFo’ TV:  Cable One this afternoon passed the midway point of its 48-hour marathon replay of Mayor Gilich’s “State of the City” address. Cable One subsscribers can see the 45-minute presentation on the hour, every hour through Friday at 1 p.m. on Cable Channel 16 (without digital box) or Cable Channel 69 (with digital box).

‘FoFo’ online: Don’t have access to cable TV? You can see the State of the City address on the city’s YouTube page. To see the presentation now, click here.