An unused Union Pacific (UP) rail yard located in the heart of Kansas City has a renewed lease on life with the recent opening of a rail transload facility in a critical Midwest transportation corridor.
The new facility will be a key distribution hub for plastic pellets arriving from the Texas Gulf Coast area by rail for truck transport to Midwest manufacturers. Plastic resins are used for medical, automotive, food grade and other industrial purposes.
“We’re very proud of this project, which returned an unused rail yard back to productivity, while providing a new transportation solution for our plastic customers and growth opportunity for Dana Transport and Union Pacific,” said Todd Hackel, Manager in Network & Industrial Development at UP.
Hackel and other UP representatives attended this week’s grand opening for the facility, which culminates a multi-year project that began in 2020 when Dana Transport engaged with UP’s Industrial Development team about leasing and repurposing the shuttered UP rail yard known as the Cypress Yard.
“We saw the land before the pandemic began, and we thought it was big enough to accommodate our plans for growth and our customers’ needs for a transload yard for plastic distribution in the Midwest,” said Dennis Lawless, Corporate Manager for Dry Bulk at Dana Transport.
The property is ideally located and enables a track layout that can be scaled up to 100-plus railcar spots.
Plastic-pellet manufacturers in the Texas Gulf Coast will be able to transport their products directly on UP, without the use of another railroad. “It’s very cost effective for our customers,” Lawless said.
According to Lawless, the project came with its fair share of challenges, but Hackel and UP worked to ensure that it succeeded.
For his part, Hackel said it was a joint UP team effort and close collaboration with local agencies that helped bring this project to fruition with Dana Transport, including members from Operations, Engineering, Real Estate, and Marketing and Sales.