Checking Out the Mississippi Export Railroad
Barbara and I were in Pascagoula, Miss., on Monday, April 2, to visit the Spanish Fort museum and have lunch. Or so we thought.
Alas, the fort and museum were closed, but we did visit the former Louisville & Nashville/Amtrak station while we were there.
The station was not open, either, and the CSX traffic was non-existent, but we found the Mississippi Export Railroad near the station. All was not lost.
We were able to get photographs shots of the MSE motive power working near the station and saw one CSX engine move off the drawbridge.
The two CSX locomotives were towing a MSE switcher.
The drawbridge carries the CSX mainline west over the Escatawpa River. The drawbridge has a tower where the operator controls the bridge.
Headquartered in Moss Point, the Mississippi Export Railroad is a 42-mile short line railroad extending from Evanston to Pascagoula.
It is the north-south corridor connecting the Canadian National Railroad and the east-west line of CSX. MSE also connects to the Norfolk Southern in Mobile, Ala., and Hattiesburg, Miss., and Kansas City Southern in Jackson, Miss., through haulage agreements.
These connections and their alliances link the Gulf of Mexico to all points on the continent.
MSE maintains five working locomotives. Its track can accommodate unit trains with loads up to 315,000 pounds per car.
The MSE owns and operates a railcar/locomotive repair and maintenance facility. It also has abundant track space for railcar storage of all types and several team tracks available for commodity transfers.
The MSE was envisioned in the 1880s by two businessmen, J. W. Stewart and Oscar Randall, to provide transportation for the import of lumber for the largest sawmills in the South and the third largest logging location in the world at Moss Point, Miss.
At that time, Moss Point was better known in parts of Europe, South America, Cuba and the Caribbean Islands than any other port in the world, including New York.
Today’s MSE has evolved from numerous predecessor lines and operated under different ownership and been known over the years by various names. These include the Moss Point & Pascagoula Railroad, W. Denny Log Road, Pascagoula & Northern Railroad, Pascagoula-Moss Point Northern Railroad, and Alabama & Mississippi Railroad.