Published: April 26, 2023
By: Adam Burns
(reporting mark, AGR): The is a G&W property operating nearly 350 miles of track running from eastern Mississippi, through western Alabama, and finally terminating at Pensacola, Florida.
The route's heritage traces back to the eastern extent of the St. Louis-San Francisco's network and today the railroad handles more than 61,000 carloads annually including coal, iron and steel, chemicals, scrap iron, pulp and paper, and limestone.
(reporting mark, ABS): This Watco property began service on November 20, 2005 and operates about 85 miles of track between Columbus, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama under lease with Canadian Pacific-Kansas City. The property was formerly Gulf, Mobile & Ohio trackage.
(reporting mark, CAGY): The historic CAGY is owned by Genesee & Wyoming's large family of short lines connecting Greenville and Greenwood, Mississippi as well as Columbus and West Point on two unconnected sections of track.
The road was originally formed in the early 1920s, connecting its namesake cities and was once known for its fleet of Baldwin road-switchers. Today, it operates 162 miles of track with traffic consisting of brick, food products, metal, and scrap.
(reporting mark, GTRA): This railroad operates just 10 miles of track near the city of Columbus (via trackage rights) and Trinity to the south. It is owned by the Patriot Rail Corporation, primarily serving the Weyerhaeuser fiber mill in Columbus while moving pulpwood, corn starch and chemicals.
(reporting mark, GRYR): This operation began in 2009 as the Grenada Railway when Canadian National spun-off 180 miles of former Illinois Central's "Grenada District" main line between Southaven to Canton, Mississippi due to low traffic.
The route was IC's primary corridor to New Orleans but following CN's takeover in 1998, the Canadian company elected to move most of its through business to the "Yazoo District" line to the west.
The rail line has been in danger of abandonment more than once; it was acquired by Iowa Pacific in 2015 but the carrier's shaky financial situation (and eventual bankruptcy) resulted in the Grenada District being sold to International Rail Partners in 2018. It was renamed as the Grenada Railroad.
Today, its freight business consists of chemicals, flour, lumber, paper, plastics, and petroleum.
(reporting mark, KSRY): This short line, owned by the Mississippi Rail Group, Inc. operates about 22 miles of railroad originally owned by the Illinois Central between Aberdeen Junction and Munsons Crossing. The road is currently inactive outside of car storage.
(reporting mark, LXVR): This short line operates about 38 miles of track from Columbus, Mississippi to Belk, Alabama handling forest and waste products. It is another G&W line with interchange connections including NS, KCS, and Columbus & Greenville.
(reporting mark, MNBR): The historic Meridian & Bigbee has been in service since the 1930s and still operates its original route from Montgomery, Alabama to Meridian, Mississippi. It is currently owned by G&W and handles a wide range of freight.
(reporting mark, MDS): This privately owned short line operates about 55 miles of track between Meridian and Waynesboro where it connects at the former city with Canadian Pacific-Kansas City. The road's freight includes lumber, food products, roofing products, and other traffic.
(reporting mark, MSCI): This railroad is another owned by Pioneer Rail Corporation, operating three disconnected lines; an 11-mile segment near Iuka, Mississippi; 51 miles between Oxford, Mississippi and Grand Junction, Tennessee; and finally 46 miles between Corinth, Mississippi and Red Bay, Alabama.
The trackage is ex-Illinois Central and was acquired in 1993. Traffic currently consists of wood products, fertilizer, and feed ingredients.
(reporting mark, MSDR): Operating between Swan Lake and Jonestown, this privately-owned short line covers about 60 miles connecting with the Canadian National at Swan Lake. The history of the property traces back to the IC, which sold the property around 1985. Today, the railroad handles corn, cottonseed products, propane, and rubber moving about 1,000 carloads annually.
(reporting mark, MSE): This privately-owned short line was first incorporated in 1922, eventually building a system stretching from Pascagoula to Luce Farms, about 44 miles. Even today the road continues to operate most of its original main line with a highly maintained right-of-way, connecting with Class Is CSX at Pascagoula and Canadian National in Evanston.
(reporting mark, MSR): Also known as MSR, this Watco short line operates about 28 miles between Newton and Bay Springs, leased through Canadian Pacific-Kansas City. The short line handles agricultural and lumber products.
(reporting mark, MSRW): This short line, dating back to 1923, is owned by Homan Industries and operated by the Mississippian Railway Cooperative utilizing a 25 mile line from Amory (where its shops are located as well as a connection with BNSF) to Fulton.
(reporting mark, OAR): This private short line is owned by Georgia Pacific. It was constructed in 1983 to serve the company's mill at Old August, Mississippi. It owns a total of 2.5 miles of track and connects with the Canadian National west of Mahned.
(reporting mark, PBVR): This short line provides switching and terminal service for the Port Bienville area, operating about 8 miles of trackage in all. It interchanges with CSX in Ansley.
This line was originally the independent Redmond Railway that began service in 1995 over about 41 miles of former Illinois Central trackage. Its traffic is primarily based in agriculture. In 2013 it was acquired by the Mississippi Central, becoming its Redmont Division.
(reporting mark, RNA): This short line operates 26.5 miles between its namesake towns on property originally owned by the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio. Its traffic includes clay, lumber, and plastics.
(reporting mark, RJCK): This RJ Corman short line leases trackage from BNSF to provide service to customers in southern Memphis to Olive Branch, Mississippi operating 47 miles of trackage in all. It provides transload services and handles primarily agricultural products.
(reporting mark, VSOR): The Vicksburg Southern Railroad is another Watco short line operating 21 miles between Redwood and Cedars via Vicksburg, which has been in service since 2006. It is former Illinois Central property, later acquired by the KCS which purchased short line MidSouth Rail in 1993.
(reporting mark, WTNN): This short line operates between Corinth, Mississippi and Fulton, Kentucky on former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio trackage. It has been in service since 1984, acquired by the Gibson County Railroad Authority that year. Since then the system has acquired more property through Norfolk Southern handling a wide range of freight.