I wouldn't be so sure its dead. the shortline there would need class 4 track (60mph freight 80mph amtrak) and PTC.
Amtrak actually kicked in to raise it back to Class 3 when they instituted Sunset East service. It is mostly dark, IIRC, but I think Amtrak kicked in for some CTC islands at that time. Much of it was never Class 4.
The issues are not just the current condition of the route and that a big chunk has been spun off to a short line, but also Amtrak's utter disinterest in reviving it as a National Network route.
As far as I am concerned, there are a LOT of things Amtrak should be addressing if it ever gets serious about preserving, let alone expanding, the National Network. NOL-JAX, though it represents a hole in the network, is pretty far down the list. There are a lot of other holes to go along with it, like no north-south services between the Chicago-New Orleans and Los Angeles-Seattle, Chicago-Florida service, etc, etc.