With the new team track rail siding project about 45 percent completed, Washington city officials are looking ahead as to how the facility will be managed and operated.

Officials here met Thursday with Union Pacific Railroad representatives to discuss that and other related issues, said Darren Lamb, the city’s community and economic development director.

The general contractor, Kolb Grading, St. Charles, is still ahead of schedule on the approximate $4 million project, Lamb noted. Kolb has until Sept. 30, 2012, to complete the facility which will include a 1,900-foot-long rail siding and a secure building/office on a 4.4-acre lot adjacent to the Canam Steel plant.

Kolb was awarded the contract on a bid of $3.25 million earlier this year. Total cost of the project, including engineering fees and other expenses, is expected to be close to $4 million.

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

He 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.

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 will have to be worked out.

Other Issues

Lamb said Union Pacific officials are aware that as part of this 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.

“They agreed that a lot of that storage of railcars and other materials should be out at the new team track,” he remarked. An area of the new facility is dedicated for that, Lamb added.

Also discussed during the meeting was the possibility of removing the old loading dock on the west side of the old freight depot and “cleaning up that area,” Lamb said.

Union Pacific officials who took part in the meeting included Barb Moore, regional manager of industrial development marketing and sales; Dave McKernan, manager of industrial and public projects; Adam McProud, MPO; and Frank Forlini, UPDS director of operations and marketing.

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.