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Hood wants hearing on proposed railroad abandonment

GRENADA — Attorney General Jim Hood has applied to the United States Surface Transportation Board in Washington, D.C., for an oral hearing to be held in Grenada 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. Through a petition filed Sept. 20, the railroad seeks to conduct the process through an exemption procedure or fast-track process that foregoes any of the protections against abandonment of a rail line.

Hood said he is committed to fighting the action.

“The oral hearing that has been requested should be conducted in the State of Mississippi in Grenada 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,” he said. “Having been reared in a small town, I know what an impact the lack of rail service can have on jobs in small towns.”

Absent another railroad purchasing the line, or the formation of a regional railroad authority, rail access to these counties could be totally lost.

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