Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Patriot Rail donates railroad to Mississippi counties

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Patriot Rail Corp. has donated its 21-mile Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad to Calhoun and Yalobusha counties in Mississippi.

The donation sets the stage for the counties to pursue creation of the Skuna Valley Trail for public recreational use. The Calhoun County Board of Supervisors accepted the property donation in December 2011, establishing the Mississippi and Skuna Valley Rails to Trails Recreational District. Since the MSV also traverses Yalobusha County, Calhoun County entered into a joint agreement with Yalobusha County for the project. The ownership of the trail by the counties ensures that it can be returned to use as a rail line in the future, if service is warranted.

"We are pleased to donate the MSV to these counties," said Gary Marino, chairman, president and CEO of Patriot Rail Corp. "Re-purposing the MSV railroad into a trail is an excellent use of this rail corridor, transforming a once underutilized property into a vibrant community asset. We hope that this trail will be a source of enjoyment for the community for many years to come."

Patriot Rail acquired the MSV in 2010 with the purchase of six railroads belonging to the Weyerhaeuser Company. The MSV ceased operations in April 2008 after the Class 1 connection suspended service due to a bridge that required substantial repairs.

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