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Tuesday, May 21, 2013    

Rail park coming to Texas' Eagle Ford Shale; unit train facility coming to Wyoming's Niobrara Shale


National Property Holdings L.P. last week announced plans to develop the Alamo Junction Rail Park in Bexar County, Texas, near San Antonio.

Located in the Eagle Ford Shale, the 400-acre park already has track structure in place. National Property Holdings recently sold a 50-acre tract to a frac sand company.

Under a first phase, the developer plans to construct more than 22,000 feet of additional track to accommodate manifest and unit trains. Rail service will be provided by BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad, and could start sometime in the third quarter.

The park is designed to house warehousing, manufacturing and oil field-related operations, such as facilities that provide crude oil and frac sand storage and transportation services.

Alamo Junction Rail Park will be located near the 1,000-acre Mission Rail Park, which is being developed by Frac Resources and Frontier Logistics L.P. and is slated to open in summer. To be served by UP, the Mission Rail Park will serve oil companies in the Eagle Ford Shale that need to move or store crude oil, natural gas and frac sand.

Meanwhile, Genesis Energy L.P. announced it has begun building a unit train loading facility in the Niobrara Shale in Wyoming's Powder River Basin (PRB) that will be served by BNSF and UP.

To be located north of Douglas, Wyo., and operational by late 2013, the loading outpost will be the only unit train export facility in the PRB to be jointly served by the Class Is, "providing maximum destination optionality for shippers," Genesis Energy officials said in a press release.

Genesis Energy also announced plans to expand its existing rail terminal in Natchez, Miss., that's designed to handle diluted bitumen delivered by CN. The company is finalizing the facility's first phase, which includes 40 rail-car spots to be completed in June.

"Due to significant demand for the flexible capacity at the facility, Genesis is moving forward with a Phase II expansion to provide an additional 60 rail-car spots and additional heated tanks to be fully operational in late 2013," Genesis Energy officials said.

For more information on various western shales and basins — including the Eagle Ford and Niobrara — and their impacts on railroads, follow this link to read an article ("Rails, Tales and Western Shales") that appears in Progressive Railroading's May issue.

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