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Rail News: Shippers

The Andersons acquires Class I-served ag facilities; American Rock Salt attains Corps approval to extend spur


The Andersons Inc. has purchased Auburn Bean and Grain Cos., a transaction that includes six grain and four agronomy facilities in northcentral Michigan.

The facilities have multiple interchange agreements in place with CN, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway. Combined, the facilities feature capacity to hold about 18.1 million bushels of grain, 16,000 tons of dry products and 3.7 million gallons of liquid nutrients.

The acquisition will increase the storage capacity of The Andersons' Grain Group by about 13 percent and further enhance the company's presence in one of its core states, said The Andersons Chief Executive Officer Mike Anderson in a press release.

"This acquisition provides an increase in our storage capacity and volume for both our grain and nutrient businesses, and it also represents a nice geographic fit between our other Michigan assets and our Thompsons joint venture in Ontario," he said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a permit and certain protocols that will enable American Rock Salt Co. (ARS) to extend its rail spur by 1,500 feet in Livingston County, N.Y., U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday.

In September, Schumer called on the Corps to swiftly grant the permit needed to break ground on the extension, which will allow ARS to mine more rock salt each day and load the salt into 100 rail cars compared with its current 70-car capacity, said Schumer in a press release. The spur connects with a Genesee & Wyoming Inc. line.

Work could begin as soon as next week, said Schumer, adding that Corps protocols call for protecting historic Native American remains and artifacts at the site during construction.

Adhering to a tight construction window is pivotal since road deicing materials must be placed at ARS' 15 regional stockpiles well before winter so that the company has product available in proximity to resupply municipalities and other salt customers, he said.

"Once winter begins, it is not possible to replenish these stockpiles at a high enough rate to meet demand — as evidenced by last year's winter," said Schumer.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/10/2014