I attended a public information meeting yesterday discussing the KCS Gulfport Branch upgrade. The project will allow the line to run double-stack containers at 49 MPH to support the Mississippi State Port when it's finished recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The project should start in about a month, depending on the Corps of Engineers issuing bridge replacement permits, and is expected to complete in about a year. The project will replace the existing 90# jointed rail with 115# continuous welded rail, and more than 30% of the ties between Gulfport and Hattiesburg, MS, 67.5 miles away. The current track condition restricts speed to 10 MPH for the entire line. Kinda makes for a 6+ hour trip of nothing but B-O-R-E-D-O-M! The replaced 90# rail will be used to replace the 75# rail in the Gulfport yard. 75# rail explains why this line is restricted to lightweight GP-38s and GP-40s. I was told that the upgrade will allow 6-axle locos and 3800' trains. Gee, do you think we’ll see some modern 4400HP GE and EMD power on this Branch??? Hey, the -38s and -40s are "modern" compared to the bunch of GP-10 Paducah Re-Builds that KCS inherited from Mid-South in '93. BTW, the 3800' restriction is due to the distance between residential area grade crossings at each end of the Gulfport yard. The Branch will remain Track Warrant territory, at least for the time being. KCS expects to run about 8 trains a week after the upgrade. That should change by 2017 when a fourth container terminal is added to the Port. By then KCS and the Port are projecting that 100,000 TEUs per year will be shipped by rail.