Lamont County is the setting for a new, 850-car rail storage and repair site.
Roughly two kilometres from the Pioneer Grain Elevator, Alberta Midland Railway Terminal's project will serve as a hub for Alberta's Industrial Heartland.
"With the Heartland continuing to grow, rail is a big part of what happens," said Shawn Smith, president of Dominion Railway Services and Canadian Northern Plains Railway Services. "Without rail, you can't move products in and out of there efficiently."
The logistics park will offer 16 storage yard tracks and five operating tracks, sitting north of Highway 15 on Range Road 201. A recent purchase of land east of the site will allow Canadian Pacific and Canadian National rail lines to connect with the project.
“The rail line connector will enhance economic opportunities for Lamont County to attract new industry interested in connections to both rail lines," said Jim Newman, manager of Economic Development for Lamont County. "That [rail line connector] will be desirable for those industries that want access to the global market."
The land purchase also allowed the county to withdraw the proposed closure of Range Road 201. It was originally to be closed to allow the development of the rail corridor.
Further down the road, Smith anticipates trans-loading options will be available, allowing truck-to-train and train-to-truck product loading and unloading.
The $34-million build began in August 2016 and is expected to be operational by October of 2017.