Rail line to deliver Volvo vehicles in Berkeley County a step closer to approval

The proposed new rail line designed to help move Volvos vehicles from their Berkeley county plant is a step closer to reality.

Much of the 23 miles of new rail will go through the Cross community.

Terry Kunkle bought his farm property near the intersection of highway 6 and highway 311 back in the 1970s. “You know, we are certainly interested in progress, what’s good for the community. However, you know it’s a mixed emotion kind of thing.

Today his Oak Brook Farm continues to train horses. On Tuesday, the Joint Bond Review Committee approved plans for Palmetto Railways to buy land to connect the Volvo plant and a CSX rail line. Part of that line will be built on Kunkle’s property.

“I understand that the right-of-way is going to be 200 feet. 142 of that is going to involve the lower portion of my property behind my house.”

Volvo announced plans to build its $1 billion plant in Berkeley County in 2015. About 4,000 people are now expected to be employed at the facility. The South Carolina Fiscal Accountability Authority could issue final approval of the line next week.

Kunkle says he is “excited about the fact of what it’s gonna do for the community in terms of jobs. I’m not so excited for what it’s gonna do to the corner of my property directly behind my house but I imagine we’ll work that out.”

The $3.5 million price tag of the new real line is part of a $200 million package the state of South Carolina agreed to to attract Volvo to the state.

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