With a recent grant for $315,000, the City of Tuscaloosa has begun planning a new Amtrak station in Alberta’s tornado recovery zone.

The grant comes from the Southern Rail Commission’s State of Alabama Delegation and along with additional funding from the City, will be used in the construction of a new train station in the former Leland Shopping Center. At nearly 3,000 square feet, the station could become the new home of Amtrak in Tuscaloosa. The City is close to completing negotiations with Amtrak and the owners of the shopping center.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said in June,

I want to thank Gov. Robert Bentley and the members of the Alabama Delegation of the Southern Railroad Commission for their advocacy of this recovery project. In particular, Commissioner Billy McFarland was instrumental in ushering our grant application through the process. In the next 12 to 24 months, we hope to begin construction of a new train station that represents the vibrancy of our City, and the SRC’s award will be a key reason why.

Amtrak’s Tuscaloosa station currently sees roughly 12,000 passengers each year. The new station would allow for significant growth in Tuscaloosa rail transit passengers.

There's no word yet on when construction is expected to begin.