- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Port of Lake Charles board members have approved an agreement to allow Port Rail Inc.?to be its rail carrier instead of Union Pacific, a move one official said will have less of an impact on residents during peak traffic hours.

Bill Rase, the port’s executive director, said the decision gives the port more control over when the trains run and how many trains run at one time, something that could not be regulated under Union Pacific.

“We thought that to be an extreme impact on the community, so we worked out with (Port Rail) to take over the activity,” he said. “By doing so, we can move smaller trains; we can move as much as we can during the daytime. But the big thing is we can restrict movement during the morning, afternoon and evening rush hours.”

The American Press reports (https://bit.ly/1eOXZNb) the agreement allows the port to invest $1 million for Port Rail to begin operations. Rase said the port had already budgeted for the investment.

Port Rail will provide service for all entities that use the city docks, including the port’s new grain elevator. The grain elevator is expected to open within two months, and it will move more than 1 million tons of cargo by train each year.

The board also allowed the port to enter into an agreement with the state Department of Administration and Farmers Rice Milling Company for help in improving traffic flow along Louisiana Highway 397.

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Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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