Tampa Port Works to Begin Operation of 96-Car Ethanol Unit Train
by Holly Jessen (Ethanol Producer Magazine) There are two ethanol-related firsts at the new Tampa Gateway Rail terminal in Florida. The Port of Tampa now has the nation’s first ethanol unit train-to-refined productions pipeline and Florida’s first on-dock unit train intermodal container capability, according to the Tampa Port Authority.
The new facility was inaugurated in late September and is expected to commence operations in early November, said Gary Sease, spokesman for CSX Corp., a Florida-based rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services company. The rail terminal has the capability of handling ethanol unit trains of up to 96 cars in length. “We have some commitments from producers that we see a steady business operating from the Midwest to the port of Tampa,” he said. “And, of course, Tampa is in that whole central Florida area that is so populous, so there will certainly be a ready market.”
The new rail terminal was made possible in a public/private partnership, according to a Tampa Port Authority press release. Florida Department of Transportation paid $7.5 Million, the Port of Tampa $5 million and CSX $2.5 million. Additional improvements were paid for with another $15 million from Kinder Morgan and $1.5 million from CSX.