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12/19/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Idaho short line to serve three new customers next year



The new year is just around the corner, and so is additional business for the Eastern Idaho Railroad (EIRR). The 270-mile short line will begin serving three new customers in 2008, according to the December issue of EIRR parent the Watco Cos. Inc.'s monthly newsletter.

The railroad will serve a Pacific Ethanol plant in Burley, Idaho. Corn trains will begin to roll in late January, according to Watco. Pacific Ethanol will need one unit train of inbound corn per week and half the plant's outbound ethanol will be railed, meaning about 5,000 inbound carloads and 1,000 outbound carloads annually for EIRR.

The short line also will serve a Redox Chemicals Inc. fertilizer warehouse that currently receives products from Monterrey, Mexico, via trucks. EIRR is extending a siding to new rail docks. The rail extension and warehouse should be completed within two months, Watco said.

"During a sales call this summer, we were able to discuss converting Redox's business from truck to rail," said EIRR Marketing Manager Ryan Wixson in the newsletter. "As a result, Redox will now receive raw materials via rail."

Finally, EIRR will serve a new High Desert Milk butter and milk production facility in Burley. The plant will receive raw milk from local dairies and ship powdered milk products on box cars and butter on reefer cars. EIRR officials have been working with Union Pacific Railroad to establish rates and formulate a plan to upgrade a spur that runs by the plant, which is scheduled to open in spring 2008. The facility is expected to generate 400 to 600 carloads annually.


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