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Officials Concerned Over Possible Loss Of Rail Lines

Last updated on Friday, November 20, 2009

(UNDATED) - Lawrence County as well as several surrounding counties, recently learned that portions of their rail roads may soon be closing.

According to Mitchell Mayor Dan Terrell, the CSX Corporation is planning to file for a discontinuance of service with the Surface Transportation Board of a railroad line that runs from Bedford, through Mitchell and Orleans, all the way south to New Albany.

Terrell says that this move by the CSX may be a prelude to the total abandonment of the line which means that the line would be completely removed, lumber, steel and all.

The Indiana Railroad Company however, which operates a rail line in Bedford and connects to Crane has already filed abandonment documents with the Surface Transportation Board on November 6th.

This information raises concern with city and county officials about the economic impact that this decision may have on this southern Indiana region.

Both Mayor Terrell and Gene McCracken with the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council stress that once an area losses it's rail service, it loses about 25% of inquiries of industry interested in locating in that area.

Both the discontinuing of service, which the CSX Corporation plans to file for and the abandonment of a line, that the Indiana Railroad Company has already filed for has not yet been decided upon by the Surface Transportation Board at this time.

The Indiana Railroad line is colored in red.
The CSX line is colored in yellow.

Gene McCracken says that officials in this region are now contacting different counties in hopes of better preparing partnerships to find the feasibility of keeping the CSX rail intact for the future.

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