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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Mississippi Legislature OKs bond funding for short-line connection project

The Mississippi Legislature recently authorized $1 million in bond funding to assist the Rail Authority of East Mississippi (RAEM) in a project that would help re-establish continuous short-line rail service to the Gulf of Mexico.

The approved funding will go toward the engineering and design phase of the 56-mile short-line track to connect the Meridian Southern Railroad at Waynesboro to the Mississippi Export Railroad at Lucedale, RAEM officials said in a press release.

The connection will re-establish rail service from Corinth, through the Golden Triangle, down to Meridian and to the gulf at Port of Pascagoula and Port of Mobile. The project will complement the Port of Pascagoula's $44 million investment in rail and terminal upgrades.

RAEM officials have begun an environmental feasibility study in Wayne, Greene and George counties. Approval of the study by the Federal Railroad Administration would enable the use of federal funding for construction. Local member counties have invested more than $750,000 in developing the project, RAEM officials said.

"We have boots on the ground doing environmental impact studies and personnel studying the economy of our region who tell us this rail project is not only feasible, but essential for our region and state's economic development future," said Larry Gandy, RAEM's executive director.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/7/2015