Hammond to Jackson

At Hammond (MP 859.0, speed limit 20 mph on the street crossings), there  is an Amtrak station, a line heads west to Baton Rouge and the north end of the “Chemical Coast” line via Geissmar, and a Yazoo and Mississippi Valley line once headed east. The main line continues north, past the 13,253 ft. siding on the west side at Natalbany (MP 856.3), where the New Orleans, Natalbany & Natchez once headed northwest, Tickfaw (MP 854.1, 60-45 on the street crossings), Independence (MP 849.9, 25 mph at the Fourth Street crossing), Velma, Shiloh, where a spur to a gravel pit once headed east, Amite (MP 843.5, 35 mph on the street crossings), Roseland (MP 840.8), the 13,003  ft. siding on the west side at Arcola (MP 840.0), Fluker (MP 837.0), Day, where a short line to Mitchell headed east, a detector at MP 833.4, Tangipahoa (MP 833.4, 45 mph at the Highway 440 crossing), Kent's Mills, where a narrow gauge line once headed west, Kentwood (MP 829.0, 35 mph on the Highway 38 crossing), where a short line once headed southeast and the line turns north-northeast, and Greenlaw, before the line crosses into Mississippi.

The countryside now varies between open agricultural fields and large stands of southern pines. There is a 9,642 ft. siding on the east side at Osyka (MP 823.9, 40 mph at the Liberty Street crossing), where the line turns north, past Chatawa, Magnolia (MP 814.0, 50-40 on the Highway 48 crossing), Fernwood Junction (MP 812.1), where double track, ABS, starts, with speed limit 40-25, Fernwood, where a line once trailed in from the east, South Yard (MP 808.7), and the Division Point at McComb (MP 806.9), where there is a passenger station, the Liberty-White Railroad once intersected on both sides at grade, and single track, CTC, speed 79-60, resumes. The line turns north-northeast past Summit (MP 804, 50 mph on Main Street crossing), Summit Junction (MP 801.7), where double track, ABS, begins again, north past Johnstone, north-northeast past Norfield, where the Natchez, Columbia & Mobile once headed east, and Bogue Chitto, north past Thayor, and north-northeast past a large paper mill before reaching Brookhaven (MP 783.1, 30 mph on all street crossings), where a line heads west to Natchez and one heads east to Silver Creek, at a flat crossing with a connector in the northeast quadrant, south of the passenger station.. The IC depot on the west side at Brookhaven is well preserved.

The line continues north-northeast past Montgomery, Wesson Junction (MP 775.4), where single track, CTC, resumes and Wesson (freight trains 40 mph on all street crossings), north past Beauregard and Martinsville, north-northeast (75-50 on the curve) past a detector at MP 764.52 and Hazlehurst (MP 762.5, 50-40 from MP 763.6 to 761), north and then north-northeast past Gellman and the 15,003 ft. siding on the west side at Crystal Springs (MP 753.4, 50-40 an all street crossings), north and then north-northeast (75-50 on both curves) past Terry, Byram (MP 738.2), where the right-of-way of the former New Orleans & Great Northern comes alongside to the east, and the Pearl River is nearby on the east side, Elton Junction (MP 738.0), where double track, ABS, begins, and Jackson Junction (MP 731.5), where the speed limit is 30 mph, a joint IC/KCS Beaumont District line from Hattiesburg trails in from the south, a KCS (ex-Mid South, ex-ICG) line from Meridian trails in from the southeast, and the line turns north, past a location where the former Yazoo & Mississippi Valley trailed in from the west, where the speed limit rises to 79-60, to the passenger station at Jackson (MP 729.0). The Mississippi State capital at Jackson is an urban exception to the prevailing scenery, with the state capitol on the east side of the line just south of the station. The tracks are elevated through downtown Jackson, with speed restrictions to 30 mph on curves north of the station and south of the North Jackson Yard. The KCS (ex-Mid South, ex-ICG) line to Vicksburg and Shreveport departs to the west at a wye on the west side, just north of the station. There is a freight yard on the west side at North Jackson (MP 727.2), at the north end of which there is a wye (speed limit 30 mph) where the Grenada District heads north-northeast, while the Yazoo District turns northwest, with speed limit 10 mph.