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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Indiana Rail Road revives Indy yard to accommodate traffic growth

An Indianapolis yard that sat idle for nearly five years recently began handling rail cars again. The Indiana Rail Road Co. (IRR) leased the State Street yard from CSX Transportation — which barely used the 14-acre facility since acquiring it as part of the Conrail integration in 1999 — because of increasing business. Since it began operations 18 years ago, IRR has grown traffic almost 900 percent from 12,000 to 105,000 annual carloads.

The 155-mile short line is using the yard as a distribution center for raw materials bound for midwestern and northeastern manufacturers. IRR stages loaded cars in Indianapolis to place freight closer to its final destination, reduce transit time and support just-in-time delivery.

This year, the distribution center will add 3,000 carloads to the railroad's traffic ledger and help the short line meet its goal of increasing annual revenue 15 percent, IRR officials believe.

"Our primary terminal is at capacity, so we needed to look for additional property to accommodate new business," said IRR President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Hoback in a prepared statement.

The short line added lighting and an office, and improved security at the facility.

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More News from 4/12/2004