Personal observation from having the Sunset Limited operating on 'my territory' in the pre Katrina days. The railroad then was ill suited to the operation of the train, especially on the one day per week when both the East & Westbound trains werer on the territory at the same time.
That being said, the departure from NoLa approaching Midnight does not give the Gulf Coast communities the kind of 'service' they will want. Who wants to wait for or get off a train at O dark 30. If a service is to be operated, it has to be stand alone and not connected to the schedule of the Sunset Limited's operation West of NoLa in either direction.