The Mississippi Legislature has authorized $1 million in bond funding for the Rail Authority of East Mississippi. The funding will assist in the engineering and design phase of the 56-mile shortline rail project to connect the Meridian Southern Railroad at Waynesboro to the Mississippi Export Railroad at Lucedale. This will re-establish continuous 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. The project complements the $44 million investment by the Port of Pascagoula for rail and port terminal upgrades.
Larry Gandy, executive director of RAEM, praised the region’s legislators for their work: “Our regional delegation worked diligently to secure support for this funding from their colleagues in what will benefit the entire state’s economic development. Senator Phillip Gandy of Waynesboro championed this project in the Senate, and Representatives Sherra Hillman Lane, Dennis DeBar and Speaker Pro-Tempore Greg Snowden showed leadership on this project in the House and we appreciate their work as well as other House and Senate members from the region.” The conference report for Senate Bill 2906 which authorized this funding passed the Senate 48-4 and the House 75-43.