The ongoing battle for rail line expansion into the Port of Charleston continues, as North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and some 300 residents rallied Tuesday night in objection. Mayor Summey says the plan to run rail lines through the northern end of the port undermines an earlier agreement with the State Ports Authority. Summey says the issue at hand is a broken agreement.
“It’s like we’re being pushed on. The memorandum of understanding says no rail through the north end of the base. The State Ports Authority said they never needed any rail, but when we did the memorandum of understanding we said rail can’t go through the south because we felt they did need rail. The issue is Norfolk Southern and CSX can both have access, it means that one has to cross the other one’s lines,” says Summey.
Which, Summey says is done in Savannah and Virginia, so he doesn’t understand why the two companies cannot overpass in North Charleston. Summey says this issue has reached beyond North Charleston, it’s a statewide issue.
“When the state government comes in and tells you they’re gonna do something, you do everything you’re doing based upon that commitment, and all of a sudden they just back away and say ‘we don’t have to do that;’ that’s wrong,” says Summey.
Summey says he’s ready to fight any attempt by South Carolina lawmakers to bring these rail lines through an area he has plans to revitalize.