Port of Memphis, Cargill team up on US$20M project to add rail tracks at Presidents Island industrial park to allow lower-cost unit trains access

Alison Gallant

Alison Gallant

Aug 9, 2011 – Industry Intelligence

LOS ANGELES , August 9, 2011 () – The Port of Memphis is teaming up with Cargill Inc. to add more rail tracks at the 1,000-acre Presidents Island industrial park to improve service and alleviate rail congestion, The Commercial Appeal reported Aug. 7.

The US$20 million public-private project involves building track sections long enough to allow less expensive unit trains into Cargill’s corn mill site, according to Memphis-Shelby County Port Commission executive director Randy Richardson.

The Cargill mill, which produces high fructose corn syrup, is the Minneapolis-based company’s only site outside of the Corn Belt, and for the site to remain viable, the company needs to reduce transportation costs, according to Dexter Muller, Greater Memphis Chamber vice president of community development.

The state and city contributed $3 million each and the city is seeking an additional $2.5 million contribution from the federal government.

The additional tracks will also allow other companies on Presidents Island to save on transportation costs by expanding their use of rail service and intermodal transportation, according to Cargill spokeswoman Nicole Reichart.

Three Class I railroads, Canadian National Railway, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, Union Pacific Corp., ship on a common set of rails at Presidents Island, Muller noted.

The new sections of track to be added will be able to handle unit trains, which are 100 or more cars usually hauling one product, according to Richardson.

The primary source of this article is The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, Aug. 7, 2011.

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