Video: Mississippian Railway Gets Economic Boost

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FULTON, MISS. (WCBI) –  A railroad line that helped bring economic development to Northeast Mississippi gets a boost.  As WCBI’s Allie Martin reports, a private and public investment partnership means upgrades to the 90 year old line, and also the possibility to attract more industries to Itawamba County.

State and local leaders, along with CEOs hammer spikes into a railway tie highlighting the work it took for this economic development announcement.

“We believe in moving goods and products by rail and we are going to continue to invest in it,” said Gov. Phil Bryant.

State lawmakers have provided $2.6 million for repairs, rehabilitation, upgrades and other improvements for the Mississippian Railway.

The Mississippian Railway is about 25 miles of short line rail running from Amory to Fulton.  It’s primarily used by three companies,  Tri State Lumber, Mueller Brass and Ferguson Enterprises. All cross ties will be replaced and rail weight capacity increased.

“Rebuilding the railroad gets the Mississippian from 263 ,000 pound gross to 286 ,000 pounds, per railway car, that’s 23,000  pounds additional weight, which is the national standard and that makes us competitive with any railroad in the country,” said Larry Holman, Chairman of Mississippian Railway.

Phase One will be complete next year. Then lawmakers will be asked to approve Phase Two of the Mississippian Railway project,  that includes strengthening bridges and improvements to allow trains to increase their speed.

“Phase two is probably going to be an additional $4 million, if we can get it in the bond bill in the future, to really put Itawamba County and Monroe County on the map as far as rail, being able to deliver products to Itawamba County and export,” said State Representative Donnie Bell.

Governor Phil Bryant says the railroad upgrades will help recruit new industry and businesses.

“They’re just not coming if they can’t move their goods and this is an opportunity for them to do it in an effective manner and keep those trucks off the road, that’s another benefit for us,” Gov. Bryant said.

The Mississippian interchanges with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe main line in Amory, giving the rail coast to coast transport capabilities.

Mueller Industries also announced a multi million dollar capital investment project at its Fulton location.

Categories: Local News

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