South Carolina Lawmakers Fund Rail Line to Volvo Plant

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Palmetto Railways

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. – After years of delays, the South Carolina legislature has approved funding for a Palmetto Railways extension to a Volvo plant in Ridgeville.

John McDermott of the South Carolina newspaper, The Post and Courier, reported that South Carolina is finally making good on a promise made eight years ago to bring a Volvo Cars plant to South Carolina by the extension of Palmetto Railways to serve the plant.

The extension will run about 23 miles through timberland between the Camp Hall business park adjacent to U.S. Interstate 26, where it will interchange with CSX at Cross, S.C.

The legislature gave the green light for funding the extension by tapping an economic development fund to the tune of $48.5 million. The project is currently estimated to cost $185 million.

In 2015, South Carolina put together an incentive package offering Volvo the opportunity to pick South Carolina as the first and only state to have a Volvo manufacturing plant. Lack of funding has put the project on hold. However, in addition to the $48.5 million provided through the legislature, the South Carolina Department of Commerce will provide $144 million, while Volvo is contributing $6 million and CSX is providing $10 million. The railroad received a federal grant in 2021 that should cover the remaining costs of the project.

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