Department of Transportation awards grant to fund freight rail project in Henry County


ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded an $8.4 million grant to Norfolk Southern Corp. to fund freight rail improvements in Henry County.

The grant will go toward an estimated $21 million project to more than double the length of a passing track at McDonough, which will allow more efficient use of the tracks and reduce road crossings blocked by trains.

Norfolk Southern’s rail line between Macon and Atlanta is an important freight rail corridor connecting the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal with metro Atlanta.

“Georgia’s freight rail network is a key economic driver and a vital component of our overall transportation network,” state Commissioner of Transportation Russell McMurry said Tuesday. “This project will provide many benefits to Henry County and the state.”

“It’s a triple win: enhancing service for our local customers, improving mainline train access across our 22-state network, and easing congestion along the way,” added Mike McClellan, Norfolk Southern’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer.

“These infrastructure improvements will bolster our operational efficiency while driving economic growth across the region, promising enduring benefits for our communities.”

The grant is part of a freight-rail improvement program the General Assembly established in 2021, which is funded through the state’s 4% sales tax on diesel fuel used in locomotives. Both Class 1 and short-line railroads are eligible.