Conversations about reestablishing service on the 27-mile rail line between Mexico and Fulton have been ongoing for the past decade. The line has been out of service since the late 1990’s when it failed to generate enough business to stay running. In 2007 the project became more feasible when new owner Mike Williams showed an interest in developing the line. President of the Fulton Area Development Corporation Bruce Hackmann says progress has been made but many details of the project remain unsolved.
“We need to identify and nail down some type of commitments from potential shippers that would use our line. That’s one of the first requirements that we have. But there are just so many things that need to come together.”
Hackmann says they are still working to come up with the necessary financial resources for the project. He says he hopes they will find a solution because not having the service has had consequences.
“It’s frustrating to me as an economic developer when projects come along that have a rail requirement to them. We find ourselves kind of at a big disadvantage.”
He says having the line back up and running will bring tremendous economic and industrial growth to the city. He estimates Fulton will be able to generate enough business to require 3,000 to 5,000 rail cars per year.