Area leaders dedicate railroad spur

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2005

While Dallas County and Selma City officials gave speeches about economic development and working together, an industrial-size, yellow fork-lift screeched in the background, beeping each time it backed out from under a pallet of siding.

While LP Wood Product’s Expansion project may have drowned out the congratulations from area economic leaders, nobody in attendance was the least bit upset.

“Don’t worry about the noise,” Probate Judge Johnny Jones said, “that’s a sign of progress.”

Jones, along with members of the Dallas County Commission, representatives from just about every branch of the Centre for Commerce and leaders from both the South Dallas and Criag Field Industrial Parks were on hand to commemorate the new rail spur connecting the two sites.

For everybody, it was the completion of about four years of hard work.

“When we started here it was more of a hayfield,” George Alford, of the South Dallas site said, gesturing to the Renesol Plant and the LP Plant in the background.

The six-mile stretch of railroad connects South Dallas and Craig.

While the distance may be relatively short, the $2.5 million project has long term implications, according to project organizers.

“Without it, it would be difficult to sell this park this park the way we have,” Wayne Vardaman, of the Centre said.

“We will see the result of this for years to come,” Sanders said.

The new spur allows companies to transport good and supplies to and from both plants with a minimal cost.

Owned by M & B Railroad, the new line may even bring a job with it, as project officials say it may require a fulltime line worker to handle the switches on the spur.

M & B provided an engine for the ceremony, making it the first train to ride the rail.

“We didn’t park it here just for looks,” Jones said.