HERRIN,IL — The railroad tracks near downtown Herrin, Illinois, have been dormant for decades. Rail company AMS Services will use them to transport rail cars in need of servicing.
For the first time, Herrin will make money off the railroad. The city entered into a contract with AMS rail car repair service. The money made from the partnership will bring new life to the town and 25 new jobs. They shared that excitement with a ribbon cutting and inaugural train ride on Thursday.
"It's going to be a new revenue stream. We are trying to create those types of things to try and take some of the pressure off the taxpayers and some of our new businesses as well," said Mayor Steve Frattini.
Michele Vaughn works at Louie's P&R. The popular restaurant sits close to the tracks. She’s excited to see the railway come back to life. "Maybe they can get a few bigger things in the area to help us all out. We have lost most of the factories around here," said Vaughn.
It's been a while since the railroad signals have been in use. Because rail traffic will be picking up, drivers need to be cautious when traveling through the railroad crossing. "When activity picks up, we are going to limit the number of cars in one train line in order to clear crossing in the shortest amount of time possible," said Frattini.
For now, things appear to be full speed ahead.
AMS plans to break ground on a facility in Herrin in the spring of 2020.