Posts Tagged ‘West Virginia Port Authority’

Sale of W.Va. Intermodal Terminal Launched

March 13, 2020

The expected sale of an underused West Virginia intermodal facility has begun.

The Heartland Intermodal Gateway terminal at Pritchard is being auctioned by the West Virginia Port Authority.

The facility opened in 2015 on 76 acres donated by Norfolk Southern but failed to generate enough business to entice NS to continuing serving it.

West Virginia officials had hoped that the $32 million terminal would duplicate the success of similar facilities in Front Royal, Virginia, and Greer, South Carolina.

Instead the Heartland terminal lost a half million dollars a year.

The sale is being done through sealed bids through April 2. There is no set minimum bid.

The facility is expected to appeal to a limited number of potential buyers with experience operating an intermodal or railroad facility.

The site’s equipment will be sold separately.

West Virginia Intermodal Terminal Faces End of Line

July 30, 2019

The Heartland Intermodal Gateway terminal in West Virginia may close if it can’t find a buyer.

Opened in 2015 at a cost of $32 million, it is the only intermodal terminal in the state.

The terminal’s operator, the West Virginia Port Authority, is seeking a short-term lease of the 100-acre facility with the idea of selling it at auction.

Norfolk Southern, which serves the terminal, has said it will end container service there in October.

NS had said it would not continue to serve the facility unless it generated 15,000 containers per year. In May it handed 68 containers.

The terminal is located along the NS Heartland Corridor between Chicago and the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

State funding for the terminal is set to expire in mid August. State officials have said the terminal is losing $500,000 annually.

State officials have said negotiations are underway with two firms to either buy or operate the terminal. However, they also said once NS ceases to provide service later this year use of the facility for intermodal traffic is unlikely for a long time.

The primary user of the terminal is Toyota Motor Company.

W.Va. to Seek Lease of Port Served by NS

July 6, 2019

The West Virginia Public Port Authority will seek a short-term lease with a private company of a state-owned intermodal facility served by Norfolk Southern.

The lease is seen as a prelude to an effort to sell the Heartland Intermodal Gateway port in Prichard.

A railcar repair company is reportedly interested in leasing the facility.

Officials say the port has been losing money for several years. They said in fiscal year 2019 the port generated just $17,370 but had expenses of $522,000.

The port is used for truck-to-rail freight transfers in NS’s Heartland Corridor between Chicago and Hampton Roads, Virginia.

NS has said it will cease serving the port, located on the railroad’s Kenova District, in October unless it can reach a minimum level of 15,000 containers handled per year.

It was built with $18 million in state funding, $12 million in federal funding and $1 million from NS and opened in 2015.

Located along the Big Sandy River 10 miles from Interstate 64 at Kenova, the port has 100 acres, much of which was donated by NS.

It was expected to draw business from southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio but has fallen short of its promise.

W.Va. Opens First Train-Truck Terminal

December 28, 2015

West Virginia’s first rail-truck intermodal facility is open for business.

Situated in the town of Prichard in Wayne County, the facility is located along the Norfolk Southern Heartland Corridor between Columbus and Roanoke, Virginia. It accepted its first revenue container on Dec. 15

West Virginia Port Authority Director Neal Vance told Trains magazine that the facility is expected to receive 30,000 container movements annually within 100 miles.

“This is something very new for the State of West Virginia,” Vance says. “The railroad has placed railcars for training. Employees are being trained on how to put air on the train and staged loadings.”

Containers are brought to the facility by trucks and loaded onto NS trains.

The 80-acre intermodal terminal is located just south of Huntington, West Virginia, which, of course, is known as the headquarters of a CSX Division.

The terminal is expected to draw business from eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio, and central and southern West Virginia.

Some of those business now send containers to the Rickenbacker Intermodal terminal in Columbus or the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. Using the Prichard terminal will afford those businesses reduced travel expenses and lower rail rates.

Toyota is among the first potential customers for the Prichard terminal. It has a parts plant in Buffalo, West Virginia.

“Toyota Motor Manufacturing is pleased that the State of West Virginia has this new facility and we are looking into ways it could fit into our needs,” said Toyota External Affairs Specialist Sandra Maynard. Toyota manufactures engines and transmissions in Buffalo.

Although located some distance from Prichard, economic development officials in the West Virginia capital city of Charleston expect to benefit by providing more convenient access to foreign markets.

“As we look for the need to diversify, not only is it getting their products to market easier from Charleston, but it’s a marketing edge to potential new manufacturers,” said Justin Gaull, vice president economic development at the Charleston Area Alliance.

The Prichard intermodal terminal can accommodate up to 190 trucks, has two half-mile yard tracks, and uses “Reach Stacker” vehicles to move containers from trucks to railroad well cars.

Intermodal services company Parksec will handle terminal operations.

Funding for the Prichard terminal included $12 million in federal grants, $18 million from the State of West Virginia, and $1 million from Norfolk Southern, which also donated nearly 80 acres of land.