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franklin county times

City of Meridian gets federal funds for rail safety training center

By Staff
From staff, wire reports
June 8, 2001
The Federal Railroad Administration will provide $349,230 to establish a regional rail safety training facility in Meridian.
The Southeastern Transportation Safety Center will train emergency, law enforcement and rescue personnel throughout the Southeast on how to respond to rail disasters.
The grant was announced Thursday by members of Mississippi's congressional delegation.
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said the center will provide training with the use of a fully functional rail crossing and a specially constructed low rail trestle for passenger rescue and hazardous materials handling.
Ward 5 City Councilman Bobby Smith and Fire Chief Bunky Partridge went to Washington D.C. in February to lobby for the grant funding.
The $350,000 is the first of "multi-year grants" the city will apply for to create the training center.
The grants are being made available through the FRA's Operation Respond program. Both Amtrak and several freight rail companies are also contributing equipment for the implementation of the center.