Welding Rails

This photo looking to the east shows progress on the new team track railroad siding being constructed at the end of West Main Street near the Canam Steel plant. Workers are shown welding sections of track in preparation for installation. Work started earlier this year and is slated to be completed by Nov. 23.

Workers have started extending the tracks for the new railroad siding facility at the end of West Main Street.

Darren Lamb, community and economic development director, said this week that the team track project is between 75 and 80 percent complete.

The contract with Kolb Excavating, St. Charles, general contractor, calls for all work to be finished by Nov. 23.

“There’s still some work that Union Pacific Railroad will have to do” at the point where the team track connects to the main rail line, Lamb said. “We have no word yet on when they will do that.”

The manual switch that will be used to shift train cars from the main track onto the spur and vice versa has been delivered to the site, Lamb noted.

The city has a deadline of Sept. 30, to spend a state block grant earmarked for the approximate $4 million project.

Work also has been completed on the loading dock adjacent to the Canam Steel plant and an office building.

The facility will include a 1,900-foot-long siding on a 4.4-acre lot.

Lamb said the city still is in talks with Union Pacific on a proposal to manage the facility.

Union Pacific has a subsidiary group — UPDS — that operates similar facilities owned by the railroad.

Lamb said the railroad may be interested in directly operating the city’s facility through a lease arrangement, or through another company it uses.

“Our goal is to find an exclusive operator, subject to a lease from the city,” Lamb said previously.

The operator would be responsible for making arrangements for companies to ship and receive materials at the team track.

Details of any sort of lease agreement still have to be worked out.

As part of the project, the city would like to see railroad storage operations moved off of the siding at Front Street, between Stafford and the old freight depot.

In a recent meeting, Union Pacific officials agreed that a lot of that storage of railcars and other materials should be out at the new team track. Lamb said an area of the new facility is dedicated for that.

In addition to a $962,701 Economic Development Administration grant approved for the project, the city will receive an estimated $2,052,810 community development block grant through the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The city’s share of the project cost is $786,063.30.

CG Power Systems USA Inc, formerly Pauwels Transformers, needs the rail siding to be able to ship extra-large transformers it is manufacturing at its new plant in the Heidmann Industrial Park.

Canam is interested in utilizing the rail siding to ship a “new line” of bridge steel. Other companies also have expressed interest in utilizing the facility for rail shipments.

First Use

Lamb said once the facility is completed, the first use of the team track being discussed is for shipments of steel to the Canam plant.

“I could easily see us getting in steel for Canam,” he remarked.