Faster flip for fracking sand

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

A $20 million upgrade to the Horseheads (N.Y.) Sand & Transloading Terminal (HOST) will give Norfolk Southern trains hauling sand used in extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation the ability to unload 100 freight cars within 48 hours, five times faster than they presently do.

Owned and operated by Carriage House Partners and RLB Holdings, HOST is in the final stages of constructing a 90,000-square-foot transloading building, scheduled to be completed by Oct. 8. HOST also broke ground this month on a second 90,000-square-foot transloading facility to be opened in 2013. Both buildings are designed for the storage of sand.

“HOST soon will be the premier Marcellus Shale distribution center in the Northeast,” said NS Vice President Industrial Products David T. Lawson. “The upgrades made to this site will enhance Norfolk Southern’s ability to serve Marcellus Shale customers safely and expeditiously, while providing for growth in coming years.”

HOST is strategically located about two miles from Interstate 86 and covers more than 200 acres of a former military base. Norfolk Southern has served the terminal since 2009, when the railroad unloaded 104 cars there. During 2010 and 2011, the number of cars increased to 1,800 and 2,600 respectively, while 1,400 cars have been unloaded through the first half 2012.

“HOST is committed to making this facility a ‘best in class’ leader in servicing the natural gas industry with warehousing, more than two million square feet of storage, and more than five miles of rail at the site,” said HOST Managing Partner Ray Bartoszek.

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