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The Mississippian Railway Cooperative, which manages the Mississippian Railway, announced earlier this month that it has transferred its $180,000-worth of assets to the Itawamba County Rail Authority.The county-owned cooperative has operated a 25-mile short line that connects with BNSF Railway Co. at Amory, Miss. The assets include the railroad's diesel engine, equipment and cash.Returning the rail line's management to the rail authority will create opportunities for loans and grants for improvements that would not be available to the cooperative, said Larry Homan, the cooperative's president, in a press release.The Itawamba County Development Council and Itawamba County Port Commission recently acted to transfer all ownership to the rail authority effective Aug. 1."It is vital to the port and to the future of economic development of Itawamba County that this railroad remains viable," said Roy Cresap, chairman of the rail authority. Established in the 1920s, the short line has enabled manufactured and natural products from the Fulton, Miss., area to access rail shipping throughout the nation at competitive prices, rail authority officials said.