$10 million going to new rail yard in Tuscaloosa County

$10 million going to new rail yard in Tuscaloosa County
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 8:21 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A new rail yard is on the way to Tuscaloosa County. Alabama Southern says it will invest nearly $10 million for the new rail yard inside the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport Industrial Park.

The logic behind it all is to alleviate rail traffic in other parts of the city and the new rail yard is expected to go a long way in doing just that. City and county leaders say construction begins this summer.

Tuscaloosa County economic officials say the new rail yard will mean 8 new jobs and should be up and running by the third quarter in 2024.

“Transportation is a critical factor when evaluating locations for expanding industries. They have to have the ability to get their raw materials in and also the finish products out to market,” said Justice Smyth of the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority.

And that’s not all; the new rail yard means less train traffic for west Tuscaloosa.

Tuscaloosa County Commissioner Stan Acker says this is something that’s been needed for a long time.

“It also helps alleviate some of the congestion in the current rail yards in the downtown Tuscaloosa area, out of that area and into a less dense in an area with less traffic concerns,” said Commissioner Acker.

WBRC reached out to railroad company Alabama Southern, but we were unable to reach anyone.

Smyth says locally, the railroad is operating at 95% capacity.

“This will alleviate some of those congestion issues and I am sure many of your viewers have been caught with the trains sitting across the roadways. This won’t totally eliminate the issue but there will be a noticeable decrease in the train traffic in the west end and put those trains in a more rural part of the community,” said Smyth.

Relieving rail traffic is on the way and on track.

Alabama Southern Railroad says the 8 new employees will be a combination of engineers and conductors who will move freight in the new rail yard and throughout the railroad system in Tuscaloosa.

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