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Railways in Mississippi: How Money and the Environment Weigh In to the Addition

JACKSON, Miss– The Rail Authority of East Mississippi has gotten a $1 million dollar bond from the state to begin working on a 56 mile connection in Meridian. 

That stretch of railway would connect railroads all over the state.

“Connecting in Meridian, that’s one of the largest rail hubs,” says Larry Gandy, Executive Director of the Rail Authority of East Mississippi,” materials could come in and out of Meridian for exports.”

The money isn’t all to get it going, according to Gandy. The environment has to be tested in the areas where the track will be laid in order to make sure the project is feasible.

“We’ve got an engineering firm working on the paperwork now,” says Gandy, “that may help us from going out and actually collecting samples.”

Gandy says the firm can look at past records of the properties.

“We just don’t want to find anything that would make us have to turn around and go back,” Gandy says.

Since the job is still in the engineering and design phase, jobs aren’t opening up just yet.

“But when we get there, we’ll need them.” says Gandy.

The stretch of railroad will connect the Meridian Southern Railroad at Waynesboro to the Mississippi Export Railroad at Lucedale. That keeps up the rail service from Corinth, through the Golden Triangle, down to Meridian and to the Gulf of Mexico at the Port of Pascagoula and Port of Mobile.

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