Tennessee City Grappling With Lack of Class I Rail Service

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Montgomery County, looking to attract a large-scale auto assembly plant is grappling with a lack of Class I rail service in the area.

Having recently rezoned a 1,010-acre farm in a rural part of the county, the local Industrial Development Board is hopeful it can attract a business to the area. However, previous efforts have proved fruitless.

“The problem that we’ve run into in the past with a project (for this site) is that our town is not served by a Class I railroad,” Mike Evans, executive director of the Industrial Development Board said at a Jan. 12 County Commission meeting.

One regional railroad, the Nicholasville, Ky., -based R.J. Corman, operates a line from Guthrie, Ky., where it connects with CSX, a Class I railroad.

The Montgomery County Commission on Jan. 12 approved a rezoning request for the 1,010-acre site — known as the Teeter Farm.

“We did look at a scenario to be able to rail serve this particular site,” Evans said. “CSX Railroad (sic) looked at how it could directly serve this site without going across the R.J. Corman Railroad line. We also worked out very quickly with R.J. Corman an agreement to allow trackage rights for CSX to use their existing rail.”

Last year, Toyota announced it had selected a San Antonio, Texas, site for an auto assembly plant. The Teeter Farm was in the running as a possible location for the plant.

“A project that looked at this site before had a requirement that they wanted two Class I railroads serving the site,” Evans added. “We don’t have that in Montgomery County anywhere. That is a negative in our recruitment effort.”

Two Class I railroads — Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific — serve San Antonio.

Railfanning Review Podcast

About Todd DeFeo 344 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.