Horry County, SC - For five years, rail lines in Horry County and surrounding areas have been at a standstill, covered with vegetation and debris, as rail cars rust away on top of them.
That's until R.J. Corman stepped in to upgrade the tracks. The railroad company hopes their work will bring new business to the coastal Carolinas.
"We believe that this rail line could be one of the premiere rail lines in the country," VP of Sales and Marketing for RJ Corman Bill Henderson said. "It just takes time. It's not going to happen overnight. It's going to require a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of investment, but we're committed to this long term."
The process has already begun. The rail road company bought 80 miles of track in surrounding areas and is leasing 14 miles from Horry County.
They are in the process of clearing the tracks now and getting them back up to operational standards.
The goal is to have the railroad up and running by the end of the year.
"We know we're going to spend several millions of dollars initially just to upgrade the infrastructure so that we can operate safely and effectively," Henderson said.
R.J. Corman is taking on the burden of upgrading and maintaining the tracks, making a long term investment in this area that could bring new industries and jobs.
But the company hopes to benefit from bringing in business as well.
"As the community grows and we're transporting more rail cars, then that is great for our company," Henderson said. "We know that if the customer is successful then we'll be successful."
Because the tracks haven't been operational in so long, R.J. Corman plans to put out a PSA to remind the community how to safely live and drive around these upgraded tracks.