State Officials Lobby To Keep Central Mississippi Rail Line Open

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 18 Oct 2011 04:59pm | comments
Grenada representative Scott Levanway

State officials are calling on the federal government to stop the abandonment of a central Mississippi rail line. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the rail company, Grenada LLC, is asking the federal government to let them abandon 83-miles of track that runs from Granada to Canton.

At a legislative hearing in Jackson yesterday, Grenada representative Scott Levanway says there is not enough traffic on the line to make it profitable.

"We just can't maintain the Grenada South portion of the line. We lost 100-thousand dollars last year. We have lost 100-thousand in the first six months of this year," Levanway said.

The possible abandonment worries Pickens Mayor Joel Gill...he says his community needs the line for supplies for farmers as well as attracting new industry.

"When you try and recruit other folks in, as you heard in these hearings today, one of the first questions is 'do you have rail availability?'. And if the tracks are gone, the answer is 'no'," Gill said.

The federal government will decide next week if they will let the company shut the line down, or hold a series of hearings...or the counties could form a rail authority and buy the line themselves.


Grenada representative Scott Levanway


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