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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Patriot Rail donates Mississippi & Skuna Valley for public trail; Iowa Interstate installs Woodward as chief engineer


Yesterday, Patriot Rail Corp. announced it has donated the 21-mile Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad (MSV) to Mississippi’s Calhoun and Yalobusha counties for the creation of the Skuna Valley Trail. The Calhoun County Board of Supervisors accepted the property donation last month, establishing the Mississippi and Skuna Valley Rails to Trails Recreational District.

Since the MSV also traverses Yalobusha County, Calhoun County entered into a joint agreement for the project. The ownership of the trail ensures the land can be returned to use as a rail line in the future, if service is warranted, Patriot Rail officials said in a prepared statement.

The short-line holding company acquired the MSV in 2010 as part of the purchase of six railroads owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. The MSV ceased operations in April 2008 after a Class I connection was suspended because a bridge required substantial repairs.

“Repurposing the MSV railroad into a trail is an excellent use of this rail corridor, transforming a once underutilized property into a vibrant community asset,” said Patriot Rail Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Marino.

Meanwhile, Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. has installed Scott Woodward as chief engineer, effective Jan. 1. Most recently engineer-maintenance of way, he now is responsible for the engineering department, where he will oversee maintenance and capital programs for track and structures.

Woodward previously served as chief engineer for the I&M Rail Link, engineer of maintenance for the Wisconsin Central Railroad Ltd. and a consultant for the Estonian National Railroad. He also held various engineering department posts at the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/10/2012