Full Steam Ahead for Alberta Railway Terminal
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record,
Regardless of some bumps in the road, Alberta Midland Railway Terminal Ltd. (AMRT) is gearing up to service Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.
The rail storage and mobile repair service is planned to be operational by October 2017 and will offer 16 storage yard tracks and five operating tracks over 21.6 kilometres in Lamont County, north of Highway 15 on Range Road 201, just a mile west of the Pioneer Grain elevator. Construction of the $34-million project began August 2016.
“Despite some weather setbacks, we are now very pleased with our progress,” Darcy Heggie, AMRT president and CEO, said during the company’s annual general meeting in Lamont County on July 26.
“Our contractors are finishing civil work and are now laying track which will allow us to provide our anchor tenant, (Pembina), with rail car storage services by summer’s end. In addition we are set to provide additional storage, trans-loading services, rail services, switching, and project letdown capability by the end of the third quarter,” he added.
Deemed a logistics centre by AMRT, the location was strategically chosen in Lamont as it sits between Edmonton and Winnipeg. It is designed to store up to 850 cars and will provide service to industry customers in the Edmonton region who routinely ship LPG, petroleum products, and plastics.
Lamont County is looking forward to another industrial partner within their boundaries.
“Alberta Midland Railway Terminal is uniquely positioned to provide rail services to industry needing access to the world market, because of their future ability to offer a connection to both CP and CN rail. This development will open the door to many new opportunities, and hopefully will spur new industrial development in the county in the future,” said Lamont’s executive secretary Robyn Singleton.
Having worked with AMRT previously in the County of Lethbridge 11 years ago, Singleton noted the company has been successful in all of their developments and has been impressed with their overall operations to date.
The Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association noted the company will help with the future development in the Heartland.
“AMRT is a welcome addition to the Heartland and will contribute to serve the logistics needs required for further industrial development in the region. The new terminal will ensure that railcar fleets have full access to local storage facilities, effectively reducing rail costs by streamlining logistics planning and improving transportation efficiencies,” said the AIHA in a statement.
Rail Storage Firm Eyes Agriculture
Posted Aug. 10th, 2017, The Western Producer, by Barb Glen
A new storage and mustering site will accommodate 300 rail cars by the end of this month when Alberta Midland Railway Terminal Ltd. opens its first phase in Lamont County northeast of Edmonton.
And by this fall, likely sometime in October, the new terminal will have an 850-rail car capacity to serve private fleet owners and rail shippers.
“Our phase one, we’re doing rail car storage, mostly for the energy companies that surround Alberta’s industrial heartland, but I see us also providing storage services to ag companies,” said president Darcy Heggie.
“My background is agriculture and agribusiness, so we are working hard on development initiatives involving agriculture and we hope to see those come to fruition here in the next year or two.”
Heggie and his father, R.K. Heggie, are the founders of AMRT, along with former Canadian Pacific Railway general manager Shawn I. Smith.
R.K. Heggie Grain Ltd. operates Transmark, a multi-modal rail transfer and storage facility near Lethbridge. Smith has an executive position with Northern Plains Railroad, a North Dakota short line, which is a strategic partner in the AMRT venture.
The AMRT project will cost $35 to $40 million, said Heggie.
“We’re still figuring out the model, but it’s a great area for production,” he said.
“I guess the other thing to note is a vast majority of our shareholder base come from Alberta and agriculture backgrounds. It’s something we’re proud of and something we’ll try to capitalize on.”
The project, 5.5 kilometres from the town of Lamont, sits near the Canadian National Railway prairie north line with a quarter section plus another 27 acres of space. It will accommodate about 48,000 feet of tracks designed for empty rail car storage. Another 12,000 feet will be used for switching and temporary storage. A small on-site repair area is also part of the plan.
As well, AMRT has property along the nearby CP line to the north of the CN site and intends to have assets operating on both rail lines in the future.
Heggie said Lamont County has been helpful with permits and stakeholder relations for the project and is “very forward-thinking” in its approach.
“The county, I think they see the value of energy development but also respect where agriculture has got them and what the future of agriculture can bring to the county.