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Executive: No plans to scrap railroad

NATCHEZ — There currently are no formal plans to scrap or sell a 66-mile railroad that runs from Natchez to Brookhaven, according to the railroad’s vice president.

“We’re not at that point. We can’t say we guarantee we will operate for the next 25 years. It will certainly depend on success,” Natchez Railway, LLC, vice president Michael Van Wagenen told The Natchez Democrat.

He said the railway is not profitable and needs repair, but he said the company will continue to operate in hopes business will improve. And he said he is willing to receive help or ideas from local community leaders about operating the railroad and welcomes their support.

Van Wagenen said if the railway remains unprofitable, the company would consider subsidizing it through local government or selling it if given a good offer.

Sue Stedman, chairwoman of the local organization Natchez Inc., said she sent a letter to Van Wagenen on behalf of the organization to suggest he open communications with locals regarding the future of the railroad.

“We see things happening that we don’t really understand. We want to be prepared. But we certainly want to work with Mr. Van Wagenen any way we can,” Stedman said.

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