SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (KLTV) - Blackland Railroad received an $8 million federal grant and plans to begin improvements in the next six months.
The CRISI grant, (Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements), will be put to use for upgrading to 25mph, increasing service frequency, and increasing the number of interchanges with Union Pacific near Overton. In Henderson, the plans are to expand the storage space that currently holds approximately 120 cars.
The grant is focused on the Henderson Overton Branch, (HOB), located between Henderson and Overton approximately 30 miles south of both Longview and Tyler. The HOB runs approximately 14 miles.
A total investment of close to $15 million is included in the grant but the release of funds is contingent on securing matching funds according to Blacklands Railroad general manager, Conor Defebaugh.
Defebaugh said the railroad hopes to work with the surrounding communities to foster economic development and new jobs. Blacklands Railroad is headquartered in Sulphur Springs.