Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Texas county acquires short line from UP

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The Rusk County (Tex.) Rural Rail District has acquired the Henderson-Overton rail spur from Union Pacific, and expects to begin work to reactivate the route. The district expects to designate Sulphur Springs, Tex.-based Blacklands Railroad as the short line operator.

“We own a railroad,” said Henderson Economic Development Corp. General Manager Sue Henderson. “Rusk County owns a railroad.”

The value of the rail spur was appraised at $4.2 million, but the District's cost was $1.026 million.

The District plans to celebrate the acquisition in mid June,with a locomotive coming down the spur and parking at the historic Henderson depot. “We want it to be a celebration,” said Henderson. “This is a big deal for all of Rusk County.”

Roughly 15.7 miles in length, the Henderson-Overton spur intersects with UP at Overton, Tex. UP ceased operating over the spur last August after the Surface Transportation Board ruled the company could do so.