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After nine years of repairs and upgrades, the 235-mile Grenada Railroad line that runs along the Interstate 55 corridor between Canton, Mississippi, and Memphis, Tennessee, has reopened.
Community officials gathered yesterday for a ceremony to mark the restoration of the line and freight-rail service. The line was near abandonment in 2014 when 90 miles of track between Grenada and Canton fell into disrepair. State and local officials stepped in to save the railroad, and the federal government provided grants to help fund the project.
Owned by Gulf & Atlantic Railways (GAR), the line is strategically positioned, with access to BNSF Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Kansas City, CN, CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.
Federal funding for the upgrades was received via a Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant in 2017 and a Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grant from the Federal Railroad Administration in 2020. The millions of dollars worth of upgrades also were funded with state dollars and private investment, according to a GAR press release.
Improvements to the line will have a great impact on businesses served along the route, said Mississippi Development Authority Deputy Director Laura Hipp.
"This milestone signifies more opportunities for trade and growth, which will foster stronger economic landscapes for the communities the Grenada Railroad serves," Hipp said.
Grenada Railroad provides freight service, rail-car storage, transloading and industrial development services.