Distribution of malted grain for the distillery and brewing industries in the northern Kentucky region will expand dramatically with a new 33-railcar transload facility developed by Louisville & Indiana Railroad (LIRC) and Great Western Malting Co. (GWM).
The opening, planned for June 13, will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the rail-to-truck transfer site, which is located at LIRC’s rail yard, 100 Homestead Avenue, in Jeffersonville. Several officials of both companies as well as local dignitaries are scheduled to participate, including Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore.
The new facility is the result of several months of planning by Louisville & Indiana Railroad and Great Western Malting Co.–a leading American malt producer based in Vancouver, Wash., with plants in Vancouver and Pocatello, Idaho.
“This is a big extension of what we’re already doing elsewhere,” says Great Western President Mike O’Toole. “The new transload will allow us to offer cost-effective, high quality service to customers around Louisville and northern Kentucky. This facility will definitely set the bar for delivery of this product.”
Great Western was already looking to invest in the Louisville market when it began talks with LIRC in June 2018. The railroad delivered the first shipment of malting grain in mid-July 2018 and began a second round of shipments in November. “Our due diligence led us to LIRC,” says O’Toole, “and once we saw their facilities, their yards, and met with their people, we liked what they have to offer.” Groundbreaking for the facility was mid-February.
For Louisville & Indiana, the new transload is a major project with a new customer and, in the case of malting grain, a new commodity.
Scott Lurkins, senior director of business development at Anacostia Rail Holdings, owner of LIRC, says, “We’re excited to partner with Great Western Malting to expand the capabilities of our Jeffersonville terminal and we look forward to strong growth opportunities for supplying malt and related products to this region’s distilling and brewing industry.” Lurkins adds, “We worked collaboratively from start to finish with several partners to create a transportation solution that not only met Great Western’s needs, but also exceeded the expectations of the customers they serve.”
Great Western is building the facility under a long-term lease of space from LIRC. Other partners in the project include Arrow Material Services, a terminal operations management firm based in Sewickley, Pa.; First Class Services, a specialty trucking company from Lewisport, Kentucky.; and Castlen Steel, a fabricator based in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Built to the highest standards for handling food products, the transload facility features a covered, open-ended structure enclosing a 90-foot section of track with a concrete pad. A concrete pit below allows conveyors to load trucks for delivery of malting grain to customers. “The transload will be able to unload 80-tons of grain from covered hopper cars in as little as 30 minutes,” explains Lurkins. The entire complex will be able to accommodate up to 33 railcars.
About Louisville & Indiana Railroad
The Louisville & Indiana Railroad operates 106 route miles of rail line between Louisville and Indianapolis, connecting with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Indiana Rail Road, and Paducah & Louisville. LIRC began operation in 1994 and after a five-year project to rehabilitate its main line, was named 2019 Short Line Railroad of the Year.
About Anacostia Rail Holdings
Anacostia Rail Holdings Company, a Chicago-based short-line holding company, operates six railroads in seven states. In addition to Louisville & Indiana Railroad, Anacostia’s other lines include Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad, Gulf Coast Switching Company, New York & Atlantic Railway Company, Northern Lines Railway, and Pacific Harbor Line.
About Great West Malting
Founded in 1934, Great Western Malting Co. is the oldest malting company in the western United States and also serves customers in Canada, Asia and South America. Its subsidiary, The Country Malt Group, operates a malt and brewing supplies warehouse and distribution system with facilities in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington as well as British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec in Canada.