Railmark loco (Photo Railmark)

USA: Railmark Industrial Railway is to take over operation of an 18 km freight branch in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, which interchanges with Norfolk Southern and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

The railway was built in 1980 to serve a planned nuclear power station. The nuclear project was cancelled in 1984 and the line taken over by NASA, which planned to use the site to build rockets. This plan was also dropped in 1993, and in 1996 the unused railway transferred to the state of Mississippi.

An industrial park was developed on the site and Tishomingo Railroad created to operate the line, which was leased to Mississippi Central Railroad in 2009 and then sold to it in 2015.

Railmark says it now plans to integrate rail, road and barge transport to develop access to international shipping routes. It has pledged to collaborate with Tishomingo County to develop industrial opportunities.

It will also establish its eighth rail service centre at the site, offering logistics, mechanical and track maintenance services.

‘This is a landmark moment for Tishomingo County as we engage with Railmark to elevate our industrial infrastructure to global standards’, said Michael Busby, Chairman of Tishomingo County’s Board of Supervisors on May 7.

‘The integration of road, barge, and rail operations to our 3 700+ acre industrial park will not only enhance our area’s logistical capabilities but also open up new avenues for economic growth and international trade.’