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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Pacific Ethanol and Toledo, Peoria & Western begin unit train service


Pacific Ethanol Inc. and Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway (TPW) have launched unit train service from Pacific Ethanol's plant in Pekin, Ill.

Under the new service, the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad, which serves the Perkin plant, hauls the plant's daily output to Creve Coeur, Ill., where the connecting TPW aggregates the rail cars and assembles the unit trains, according to a press release issued by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), the parent of TPW and Tazewell & Peoria.

A 200-mile short line, the TPW interchanges the unit trains with connecting Class Is for delivery to final destinations east of the Mississippi River.

"This unit-train solution enables us to increase our overall sales volumes by expanding our ethanol distribution to new markets on the East Coast," said Pacific Ethanol Chief Executive Officer Neil Koehler. "This agreement with TPW builds on our producer-marketer business plan for the Pekin plant, increasing revenue and providing reliable and efficient service to customers in new markets."

The unit train arrangement on the TPW is the third example of G&W's commitment to the biofuels industry, said Mike Webb, senior vice president for distribution services for Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services Inc.

"This past July, we announced a project that allows an ethanol customer to receive unit trains via G&W's Arkansas Midland Railroad, and last year at this time, our San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad opened a Choice Terminal bulk transload facility with a biofuels company as its anchor customer," said Webb.