South Carolina Public Railways, part of the state Commerce Department, has commissioned Wilbur Smith Associates, a transportation and infrastructure consulting firm, to develop a statewide rail plan. The plan is expected to be finished up by January.
From the Commerce Department:
South Carolina Public Railways and the Department of Commerce sought the development of a rail plan in order to outline the inventory of current large industrial sites and make recommendations related to future development of logistics, infrastructure and economic development that could improve the attractiveness of existing resources for potential investors.
“Over the past two years Commerce and its allies have recruited jobs and investments at record-breaking levels. South Carolina must take the necessary steps now to continue this success in the years ahead. By examining current infrastructure capabilities and future opportunities that may exist through the development of available sites, we are positioning South Carolina to be an even more attractive location to do business. We look forward to working with Wilbur Smith and our economic development partners to examine current and future development potential in our state,” said Joe Taylor, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce.
The plan will include a look at both freight and passenger rail systems, their impact on the state's economy, and how to better meet the state's economic needs through those systems. So could this mean progress on a viable passenger rail system in South Carolina (or the Southeast ... or the United States, in general ...)? One can only hope.