Trains between the Port of Gulfport and Hattiesburg have been moving faster and smoother now for several weeks, even though the official completion date for phase two of the Kansas City Southern Railway's project is September 1st.
Construction began in 2010 with the first phase correcting the gauge of the rail and the wooden ties allowing heavier trains. The second phase fixed overpasses and bridges.
Matthew Wypyski, Port of Gulfport Deputy Executive Director, said the changes allow trains in certain areas to increase speed from 10 miles an hour to 49 miles an hour. He said the improvements mean happier port tenants and potential customers.
"We also discussed KCS upgrades with current customers and new customers. And in every case, these conversations are met with a lot of optimism. It's really very, very good news for the Port of Gulfport," said Wypyski.
Port officials said the funding came from federal and state sources, as well as the Kansas City Southern Railway Company.