The survival of short line railroads in the state may depend on small manufacturers and Tennessee farmers, who still use the older tracks and trains to move products in and out of rural areas. Often less than a hundred miles, short line railroads are typically locally owned and operated and trains are smaller and move slower than on larger railroads. Ed Harlan, of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, told WPLN that these lines are critical to people in smaller rural counties and he’s been out meeting with farmers to find new customers for the short lines. Caney Fork & Western Railroad interchanges with the CSX in Tullahoma, TN and extends Northeast 61 miles through I-24 at Manchester and continues to McMinnville and to Sparta, TN.
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