LIRC, GWM to open transload facility

Written by Andrew Corselli
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In an effort to expand the distribution of malted grain for the distillery and brewing industries in the northern Kentucky region, Louisville & Indiana Railroad (LIRC) and Great Western Malting Co. (GWM) have developed a new, 33-railcar transload facility.

The transload facility—which broke ground in mid-February—features “a covered, open-ended structure enclosing a 90-foot section of track with a concrete pad. A concrete pit below allows conveyors to load trucks for delivery of malting grain to customers.”

GWM built the facility under a long-term lease of space from LIRC, our 2019 Short Line of the Year. Other partners in the project include Arrow Material Services, a terminal operations management firm based in Sewickley, Pa.; First Class Services, a specialty trucking company from Lewisport, Ky.; and Castlen Steel, a fabricator based in Owensboro, Ky.

The opening, planned for June 13, will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the rail-to-truck transfer site—located at LIRC’s rail yard in Jeffersonville, Ind. Several officials of both companies, as well as local dignitaries, are scheduled to participate, including Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore.

GWM had its sights set on investing in the Louisville market when it began talks with LIRC in June 2018. The railroad then delivered the first shipment of malting grain the next month and began a second round of shipments that November.

For LIRC, the facility is a major project with a new customer and, with regards to malting grain, a new commodity.

“This is a big extension of what we’re already doing elsewhere,” said GWM President Mike O’Toole. “The new transload will allow us to offer cost-effective, high-quality service to customers around Louisville and northern Kentucky. This facility will definitely set the bar for delivery of this product.”

“We’re excited to partner with Great Western Malting to expand the capabilities of our Jeffersonville terminal and we look forward to strong growth opportunities for supplying malt and related products to this region’s distilling and brewing industry,” said Scott Lurkins, senior director of business development at Anacostia Rail Holdings, owner of LIRC. “We worked collaboratively from start to finish with several partners to create a transportation solution that not only met Great Western’s needs, but also exceeded the expectations of the customers they serve.”

“Our due diligence led us to LIRC,” said O’Toole, “and once we saw their facilities, their yards and met with their people, we liked what they have to offer.”

“The transload will be able to unload 80-tons of grain from covered hopper cars in as little as 30 minutes,” explained Lurkins.

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