Two-state rail committee to wait for progress before meeting

sjones@thesunnews.comFebruary 26, 2013 

— A two-state rail committee trying to find a resolution to the ongoing shutdown of Carolina Southern Railroad has cancelled its February meeting so there can be more progress toward a resolution when the committee meets next month, according to an email from Brad Lofton, president of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp.

“The request for cancellation was to allow more time for progress to occur so that we could have a more meaningful conversation at the meeting,” Lofton wrote.

Carolina Southern shut down in the spring of 2012 because of problems on its bridges, leaving Horry, Marion and Columbus County, N.C., without rail service. North Carolina agreed to fund repairs on the bridges in that state, but the upgrades will be useless until at least some of the bridges in South Carolina are repaired.

Carolina Southern’s trains must travel its South Carolina rails to get to its North Carolina rails.

Officials from the three counties worry that the railroad’s shutdown threatens Carolina Southern’s industrial customers as well as the recruitment of new manufacturers which may need rail service.

The meeting is set for 5:00 p.m. March 19 in the Loris Public Safety building.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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