Alabama Southern Railroad is investing $9.8 million in a second rail yard in Tuscaloosa to support its operations.
The second facility will provide additional capacity to support existing and future customers and reduce traffic concerns at the downtown facility. The second rail yard will be located off Highway 82 West, with construction beginning this summer. The rail yard is expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2024. Hiring of the eight jobs will be completed during the first year of operations.
“This additional infrastructure investment underscores our commitment to delivering exceptional rail service quality and customer satisfaction. By enhancing rail service fluidity, our customers will benefit from great efficiency and reliability while decreasing congestion in West Tuscaloosa,” said Cody Gilliland, Alabama Southern Railroad sales director.
The Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority approved a tax abatement package as part of the investment. The company will receive an abatement of non-educational sales and use taxes for purchases of equipment and building materials during the construction phase. The estimated tax abatement amount is $535,125.
TCEDA estimates the project will contribute more than $600,000 during its first 20 years in certain taxes generated from direct employee spending by the new hires.
“Tuscaloosa County is fortunate to have access to all forms of transportation to support our business community and citizens — road, rail, water and air,” said Steven Rumsey, vice chairman of the TCEDA. “This investment will enhance our local rail infrastructure and overall transportation network, but also serves to aid future economic development in our community, helping create additional jobs and other quality of life initiatives for our citizens.”
Alabama Southern Railroad is a class III railroad operating in the southern United States. Beginning its operation in 2005, it is one of several short line railroads owned by Watco. Founded in 1983, Watco owns and operates a diverse network of short line railroads, terminals, ports and repair terminals in North America and Australia.