Back in Business: Mississippi’s Gulf & Ship Island

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The Rock will operate Gulf & Ship Island Railroad, serving existing business and attracting more to the area with the Harrison County Development Commission, based in Gulfport, Miss.

The Rock will operate Gulf & Ship Island Railroad, serving existing business and attracting more to the area with the Harrison County Development Commission, based in Gulfport, Miss.

Mississippi’s Gulf & Ship Island Railroad will resume service along the Seaway lead in the Bernard Bayou industrial park, with The Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad LLC (The Rock) as operator.

The Harrison County Development Commission (HCDC), based in Gulfport, Miss., and the County’s Board of Supervisors made the announcement May 7.

The restored rail line, in partnership with Kansas City Southern, returns after a more than five-year absence. 

HCDC Executive Director Bill Lavers

“[W]e have been working extremely hard for the past 3-1/2 years to find a partner willing and able to restore the service and add value for our customers,” HCDC Executive Director Bill Lavers said. “Robert Riley and his team have provided a great solution for us. We are excited to bring this benefit back to all the tenants of the park.”

“We are excited about the huge opportunity in Harrison County,” said The Rock CEO Robert Riley, who recently received Honorable Mention in the Railway Age Readers’ Influential Leaders poll for 2021.

The Rock CEO Robert Riley

“It has taken a lot of work to formulate the agreements and relationships needed to restore this service. Our core customer service values and determination are going to bring a new level of service to the area. We look forward to working with the existing businesses and helping to recruit new opportunities to Harrison County.”

The Rock is based in Hernando, Miss.

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