Rail freight service talks revived

A stretch of track along the short line railroad between Mexico and Fulton, in talks to be reopened, sits unused near William Woods University.

A stretch of track along the short line railroad between Mexico and Fulton, in talks to be reopened, sits unused near William Woods University. Photo by Dean Asher.

Discussions about establishing rail service along the short line railroad between Mexico and Fulton resumed Monday morning at Fulton City Hall.

Attending the meeting were the owner of the railroad, Mike Williams, president of Railroad Materials Salvage, Inc. of Richmond, Mo.; Bruce Hackmann, president of the Fulton Area Development Corporation; members of the Callaway County Transit Authority; all county commissioners from Callaway and Audrain counties; Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton; and Fulton City Administrator Bill Johnson.

Williams told the group he was pleased by recent discussions with Kansas City Southern Railroad about potential shipping rates.

Williams said the feasibility of resuming service along the 27-mile short line rail line between Mexico and Fulton depends upon receiving affordable shipping rates from the main railroad connection at Mexico with Kansas City Southern Railroad.

Williams said Kansas City Southern officials with the short line division of the railroad indicated recently they would negotiate rates. Williams said the rates quoted by the railroad earlier were unreasonable.

“But they want a specific list of customers. Not just potential but real business,” Williams said. He asked Hackmann to provide such a list of Fulton area business customers and the shipping needs for each firm.

“I already have that information and I will be glad to get it to you,” Hackmann said.

Hackmann estimated there is enough business in and near Fulton to generate enough freight to require 3,000 to 5,000 rail cars per year.

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