Belle Fourche, S.D., Transload Tripling Capacity

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

The Belle Fourche, S.D., transloading facility is undergoing a $2.4 million expansion to accommodate up to 90 railcars; completion is slated for mid-July 2022.

The move will triple rail capacity at the facility, which currently accommodates up to 27 cars and is served by the 750-mile Rapid City Pierre & Eastern (RCP&E), a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary. The expansion project also includes construction of two additional tracks with four turnouts. It will be covered by a Federal Railroad Administration grant of up to $1,917,710, according to the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development; the Belle Fourche Development Corporation (BFDC) has secured the remaining 20% or $480,000 ($240,000 of which has been funded by a South Dakota Local Infrastructure Improvement Project grant through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development; the rest was split between the city of Belle Fourche and Butte County).

“The ability to have more capacity and handle unit-train type volumes makes this an extremely strategic location for us and I think for the Belle Fourche community as well,” G&W Assistant Vice President of Industrial Development Zach Boehme said. “After the expansion is complete, this facility will hold 90 cars at any given time. Our railroad offers five-day a week service so essentially you could rotate through 90 cars, five days a week. So you’re looking at 450 cars a week that could be handled through this facility, which equates to upward of 1,500 truckloads. It will be largest transload facility on the system. It’s a huge market for us.”

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