Rail service key to Fla. counties’ plan for Freight Logistics Zone

Written by Railway Age Staff
image description

In an effort to boost freight mobility in rural areas including rail, the Florida counties of Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, and Franklin announced the establishment of the Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone.

The counties in a release described the public-private initiative as a platform for broader economic development. The group said a strategic plan for the attraction of business to the zone was accepted by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners in each county.

“The new Freight Logistics Zone will connect communities, improve infrastructure for freight transportation and strongly impact the local economies,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Cissy Proctor. “We are proud to work with this team to create a positive effect on economic development and job growth across these counties.”

The four counties are served by the Apalachicola Northern Railway, owned by St. Joe Company and operated by a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. The railroad connects the Port of Port St. Joe in Gulf County with CSX in Gadsden County, and the national freight network. A number of industrial sites have been identified and qualified by Enterprise Florida’s Strategic Sites program along the railroad and proximate to Interstate 10 and major arterial roads such as Highways 65, 71 and US 98 as well as the Apalachicola Regional Airport in Franklin County. The study outlines two inland ports – one near Interstate 10 and one near the Port of Port St. Joe.

“The four counties in the FLZ have tremendous potential for economic development and job growth” said Jorge Gonzalez, Chief Executive of The St. Joe Company. “With the proper infrastructure in place, the Port of Port St. Joe can leverage the benefit of its proximity to rail, air, and interstate transportation assets. We are committed to working with the counties to improve transportation connectivity and propelling growth throughout the FLZ.”

Kevin Phillips, AVP Industrial Development for Genesee & Wyoming said, “The FLZ region has natural transportation and logistics advantages that we need to maximize and use to attract additional jobs and prosperity to the region. The FLZ is one way to accomplish this.”




Categories: Class I, Intermodal, News, Short Lines & Regionals, Switching & Terminal Tags: , , , , , , ,