Iowa Interstate Railroad Acquires Iowa City Industrial Campus Parcel

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC (IAIS) announced Jan. 10 that it has purchased approximately 30 acres at Iowa’s City Industrial Campus to develop a new rail to truck transloading facility.

Located on the southeast side of Iowa City, the site, which is located next to I-8, US 6 and US 218, includes an existing rail spur, connecting to the 573-mile IAIS network, providing shippers with direct access to all seven Class I railroads and numerous short line railroads.

“Transloading of commodities between transportation modes is a growing segment of the national supply chain,” IAIS said in a release, adding that it is “proud to provide another option in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor to shippers lacking direct access to rail service. “Shippers can utilize this additional optionality to leverage multiple modes and connecting rail gateways to drive value to the end user,” the Class II said.

“As part of our continuing growth strategy, IAIS is excited to have successfully acquired this parcel from our friends and neighbors at the City of Iowa City for the development of this new transloading facility,” said IAIS President and CEO Joe Parsons. “As we have seen with the numerous other transloading sites existing along our network, these facilities provide significant value to our customers and open the door for many other companies to become rail shippers.”

According to IAIS, rail transportation is the most fuel-efficient way to move freight over land. By partnering with IAIS to develop this facility, Iowa City says it “recognizes this increased fuel-efficiency both reduces shippers’ long haul freight costs and provides public environmental benefits.” According to the EPA, moving freight by rail versus truck lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 75%. In 2021, IAIS joined the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, “demonstrating its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.”

“The City is proud to partner with IAIS on this project, which will both support existing industry and help attract new business to the Iowa City area,” said City Manager Geoff Fruin. “The transportation sector accounts for a third of all GHG emissions nationally and a quarter of our emissions locally. Projects like this are an excellent example of how actions on the local level contribute to solutions at a larger scale. As we look for ways to continue to bolster our economy while making significant progress towards achieving our climate action goals, this partnership reflects the values and collaborative spirit of Iowa City.”

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