Grenada Railway

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Grenada Railway
Reporting mark GRYR
Locale Southern United States
Dates of operation 2009–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 187 mi (301 km)
Headquarters Grenada, Mississippi

The Grenada Railway (reporting mark GRYR) is a 187-mile long (301 km) shortline railroad that runs from Southaven, Mississippi to Canton, Mississippi, along former Illinois Central Railroad trackage. GRYR interchanges with the Canadian National Railway. The main commodities the railroad hauls include forestry products, scrap metal, and grain. Grenada Railway is operated by RailUSA, Inc through International Railroad Partners.


The line was part of Illinois Central Railroad's "Grenada District" and was mostly used by its premier passenger trains the City of New Orleans and the Panama Limited at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The line had many hills and curves, making it unsuitable for long freight trains, which mainly used Illinois Central's "Yazoo District" several miles to the west, through the flat Mississippi Delta. It was notable as the line on which Casey Jones, the famed railroader, was killed.[1]

On September 10, 1995 Amtrak's City of New Orleans operated over the Grenada District for the last time. A few years later in 1998, Canadian National bought the Illinois Central Railroad and diverted more traffic over to the Yazoo District.

In 2015 Iowa Pacific bought the Grenada Railway. In 2016 Iowa Pacific sent their Antique Illinois Central Passenger train to Batesville, MS to run a polar express train. The train was such a success that Iowa Pacific bought a warehouse and are starting to run regular dinner trains.

Current operations[edit]

The Grenada Railway was formed in 2009 when Canadian National spun off the 175-mile line from the Tennessee border south through Grenada to Canton due to low traffic.[2]

The 81-mile section running south from Grenada to Canton has been out of service since 2011 and was the subject of a dispute between Grenada Railway, local towns and counties along the tracks and the Surface Transportation Board.[3] GRYR claimed there was not enough traffic to justify keeping the line open, while the towns and counties bordering the tracks argued that abandoning the railroad would hurt them economically.[3] The railroad eventually withdrew its application to abandon the trackage in November 2011.[4]

In 2015, the North Central Mississippi Regional Railroad Authority purchased the entire rail line for $43 million from previous owner A&K Railway Materials.[5] The state of Mississippi contributed a $30 million bond, while Iowa Pacific Holdings paid the remaining $13 million.[5] Iowa Pacific will lease the line from the Authority, which will pay back the state bond, and will continue to operate the Grenada Railway, as well as work to rebuild the trackage between Grenada and Canton.[5] Currently, tracks have been in use for car storage as far south as Winona, Mississippi.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "CN sells Grenada line".  Retrieved 10 August 2016
  3. ^ a b "Legislators work to stop abandonment of Grenada Railway".  Retrieved 7 July 2013
  4. ^ "Grenada Railway withdraws abandonment request". Trains Magazine. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2015.  Full story is not accessible without membership to
  5. ^ a b c "Grenada Railroad re-opens for operation". Trains Magazine. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.