$7.5M federal grant pays half of $15M railroad restoration
GRENADA, Miss. - A $7.5 million federal grant will help restore rail service across part of Mississippi, aided by a $4.3 million state loan and $3.2 million in private money.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it's awarding the grant to rehabilitate 90 miles of a former Illinois Central line between Grenada and Canton.
That stretch, including the Yazoo County spot where legendary engineer Casey Jones died in a 1900 crash, hasn't seen regular service since 2011.
The entire Grenada Railroad from Southaven to Canton is owned by the North Central Mississippi Regional Railroad Authority, which bought it from a Utah operator who wanted to pull up rails from Grenada to Canton and sell them for scrap.
Operator Iowa Pacific now runs the line under a 15-year lease-purchase agreement.