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Commission wants hearing on abandonment of railroad

NORTH MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Transportation Commission has applied to the United States Surface Transportation Board in Washington, D.C., for an oral hearing to be held in Mississippi on the petition for abandonment exemption filed by Grenada Railway, LLC.

Grenada Railway has given notice of its intention to abandon the southern 81.3 miles of rail line running from Grenada to Canton through the counties of Grenada, Montgomery, Carroll, Holmes, Yazoo and Madison. Grenada Railway is also seeking, through a petition filed Sept. 20, to conduct the process through an exemption procedure or fast track process that foregoes any of the normal requirements of an abandonment of rail line.

“The abandonment of a significant freight rail line should not be ‘fast tracked’ without input from all the affected communities, industries and citizens that depend on the rail line,” Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert said. “We understand the economic climate and that many industries are facing difficulties, but this abandonment process must be thorough and transparent. Rail lines are privately owned but they have such an impact on the overall economic viability of an area that they must be managed in a way that is reasonable and responsible, and that is what the Commission is seeking here.”

The Mississippi Transportation Commission maintains that an oral hearing should be conducted and should be open to the public to allow local citizens, shippers and industries to voice their objection not only to the abandonment, but to the use of the exemption or expedited process that affectively shuts out the public and the affected parties.

The date, time, and location of the oral hearing will be announced at a later date.

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