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Alabama Southern Railroad building second Tuscaloosa rail yard

The Alabama Southern Railroad is all aboard on its latest project to expand its operations in the Yellowhammer State.

The Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority has announced that the large-scale railroad company will be creating a second rail yard in Tuscaloosa. This $9.8 million project is in addition to the already bustling downtown facility.

The railroad said the new facility will help customers and minimize traffic concerns at the downtown location.

“We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our rail footprint in Tuscaloosa, which will provide critical capacity to meet the growing demands of our existing customer base and facilitate future growth opportunities,” said company Sales Director Cody Gilliland. “This additional infrastructure investment underscores our commitment to delivering exceptional rail service quality and customer satisfaction.

“By enhancing rail service fluidity, our customers will benefit from greater efficiency and reliability while decreasing congestion in West Tuscaloosa.”

Tuscaloosa officials applauded the company’s latest move and decision to expand.

“Tuscaloosa County is fortunate to have access to all forms of transportation to support our business community and citizens ‐ road, rail, water and air,” said Steven Rumsey, vice chairman for Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority. “This investment will enhance our local rail infrastructure and overall transportation network, but also serves to aid future economic development in our community, helping create additional jobs and other quality of life initiatives for our citizens.”

Mayor Walt Maddox said the new facility is a boost for the city.

“The Alabama Southern Railroad’s additional rail yard means more jobs and the reduction of train traffic in West Tuscaloosa,” said Maddox. “This project has required a great deal of planning and coordination, but the end result is well worth it for Tuscaloosa.”

Probate Judge Rob Robertson, who is the chairman of the Tuscaloosa County Commission, said the facility will bring the opportunity for growth and cut train traffic in certain parts of the the area.

“Alabama Southern Railroad’s facility expansion will help reduce freight congestion in our more populous areas, while improving their service capacity to key local industries,” said Probate Judge Rob Robertson. “Their additional investment in Tuscaloosa County will open the door for future growth opportunities.”

TCEDA Executive Director Justice Smyth said the project will help community progress in the area.

“Transportation is a critical factor when evaluating locations for new and expanding investment, so this addition to our rail resources will create new opportunities when promoting Tuscaloosa County,” said Smyth. “This project also creates potential benefits for our existing industries while contributing positively to our on‐going community development.”

Construction will begin this summer.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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