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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Genesee & Wyoming to increase Australian iron-ore volume; Indiana Harbor Belt to boost potash traffic


Yesterday, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. announced that its Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd. (GWA) subsidiary has expanded two existing rail haulage contracts with Arrium Ltd. to transport an additional 2.7 million tons of export iron ore annually in South Australia. The amended pacts provide GWA rights to serve other potential iron ore tenements in South Australia.

To support the increased shipments, GWA plans to spend $60 million (in Australian dollars) to purchase new narrow gauge locomotives and rail cars, and construct a standard gauge rolling-stock maintenance facility.
The company currently transports about 6 million tons of iron ore annually over Arrium-owned narrow gauge lines from mines in the Middleback Ranges to Whyalla, South Australia. The amended contract will enable GWA to acquire the necessary rail equipment to increase annual tonnage by more than 2 million tons in first-half 2013.

GWA previously amended a contract to haul 3.3 million tons of export iron ore from Arrium’s Peculiar Knob mine and has already invested $67 million (in Australian dollars) for new locomotives and facilities.

Meanwhile, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. and PotashCorp. officials held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for the second phase of the Hammond Regional Distribution Centre at Gibson Yard in Hammond, Ind. Construction is slated to begin Aug. 1.

To be completed in 2013, the second phase calls for constructing a 144,000-square-foot storage building adjacent to 14 miles of track, which was built under the project’s first phase and completed in April. The rail transfer facility will feature a total storage capacity of 200,000 tons and cover 89 acres.

The two-phased project is designed to help PotashCorp. deliver more potash to customers as mine operations expand. The Canadian company provided $53 million for the project to cut delivery times in the United States by six to eight days.

“The key to the reduction in delivery time is the ability to forward position product beyond the busy Chicago corridor and still maintain quick access to all the Class I carriers,” PotashCorp. officials said in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/18/2012