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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Northern Lines Railway logs growth in propane business


The expansion of a propane terminal near St. Cloud, Minn., has resulted in Northern Lines Railway's (NLR) four-fold increase in its propane-by-rail business, the central Minnesota short line announced yesterday.

NLR handled more than 1,000 carloads of propane in 2014, a four-fold increase compared with 2013, said President Justin Chalich in a press release.

"It was huge for us, and we expect to hit 1,500 cars in 2015," he said.

He attributed the increase in business to the partnership between Wenner Gas Co. and CHS Inc. to expand the Rockville Propane Terminal, which is less than two miles off Interstate 294 near St. Cloud. The 11-acre facility can unload 10 tank cars simultaneously and store 620,000 gallons of propane in 16 tanks. Two truck loading bays can fill up to six tankers per hour.

Its expanded track capacity can accommodate 57 loaded and 47 empty tank cars.

"It's a $10 million expansion," said Chalich. "We had to purchase another locomotive to help make this run."

Tomorrow, NLR will mark its 10th anniversary. Owned by Anacostia Rail Holdings LLC, the short line operates 17 route miles connecting with BNSF Railway Co. at St. Cloud and handles about 10,000 carloads annually.

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