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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Arkansas Midland Railroad to roll out ethanol unit train


Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) announced early this week that the Arkansas Midland Railroad this fall will offer the first ethanol unit train for the North Little Rock, Ark., and surrounding gasoline-blending markets.

Arkansas Midland Railroad Co. Inc. is a 114-mile short line serving the Hot Springs and Little Rock areas. The ethanol unit train will serve the JP Energy terminal, the largest terminal in North Little Rock's tank farm complex, G&W officials said in a press release.

Unit trains, which are able to handle up to 108 rail cars, will be unloaded to JP Energy's ethanol storage tanks for onsite blending or direct outbound truck loading. Prior to the unit train's availability, the local ethanol market has been served only by truck delivery and single-car rail shipments.

The new delivery solution "demonstrates the railroad's ability to be a major transportation partner to surrounding industry and create logistics options that can lower costs for both area businesses and their customers," said Dewayne Swindall, president of Arkansas Midland Railroad.

"By locating the unit train offload facilities directly adjacent to our terminal, we're able to reduce unnecessary truck traffic and product transfers, further enhancing the efficiency and safety of our terminal operations," said Cory Willis, senior vice president of terminals and distribution at JP Energy Partners.

Demand for ethanol blending is expected to increase because of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mandate to increase the amount of biofuel mixed into the fuel supply, G&W officials said. The demand will make a strong market for ethanol use in North Little Rock, they added.

Arkansas Midland Railroad interchanges with BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad.

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