A new 110-car shuttle loading facility on the Norfolk Southern railroad near Kankakee, Illinois is up and running just in time for the fall harvest.
The state-of-the-art facility is the result of a partnership between GROWMARK and Heritage FS Eastern Grain Marketing (EGM) that provides additional value from GROWMARK’s investment in Central States Enterprises, a partner firm with significant rail capacity and destination markets.
EGM general manager and Heritage FS CEO Dana Robinson says they are receiving grain at the new shuttle loader from this year’s harvest. “The shuttle loader is a circular track (which is) well over a mile long, about a mile and a half,” said Robinson. “It is capable of handling 110 unit cars at a time, plus four engines.”
Robinson says the new facility is highly efficient. “Each car will be filled from the train loading site and the inspection and the weighing will be going on at the same time as the filling operation,” he said. “The name of the game is speed and that’s what this facility was set up for – both in-bound and out-bound grain – because we get premiums for fast turn around on the unit train.”
The facility is well-positioned to market grain from northeastern Illinois into the Southern markets on both the NS (Norfolk Southern) and the BN (Burlington Northern) railroads. “The BN gives us access to the cattle market in the southwest, Texas area, and the NS gives us excellent coverage for the poultry market in the southeast and the ethanol plants in Indiana and Ohio,” said Robinson.
Robinson provides more information about the new facility in this interview: [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/growmark/growmark-robinson.mp3″ text=”Interview with Dana Robinson, EGM and Heritage FS”]