Ports of Indiana, OmniTRAX enter landmark rail development agreement

Ports of Indiana, OmniTRAX enter landmark rail development agreement

Ports of Indiana has selected OmniTRAX to serve as the new rail operator and development partner at Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon, Indiana’s largest port. Founded in 1986, the Denver-based company was selected from a group of 19 nationwide respondents as part of an extensive RFP process to provide rail switching and business development support at the Mount Vernon port.

OmniTRAX is one of the fastest growing private railroad operators in North America, operating 27 railroads serving ports and industrial parks across the country. It is part of The Broe Group, a private multi-billion-dollar investment group with diversified holdings throughout 41 North American states and provinces.

“This is a landmark agreement for Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon that will spur significant growth and business expansions throughout the region,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock. “OmniTRAX offers a unique combination of world-class rail operations and large-scale industrial development services that will help port customers grow and attract new businesses. The Mount Vernon facility is already Indiana’s largest port in terms of cargo shipments, rail traffic and developable land, and it also has the greatest potential for future growth.”

Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon is a 1,200-acre port on the Ohio River with potential connections to five Class I railroads and annual shipments of approximately 6.7 million tons and 40,000 rail cars. The port is home to 12 companies, with onsite services for cargo handling, warehousing, barge fleeting and Foreign-Trade Zones, as well as 680 acres of available land, including a 544-acre megasite. It is the closest port to the median center of the U.S. population and the soon-to-be completed Interstate 69 trade corridor from Canada to Mexico.

“We’re very excited to partner with Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon and local companies to provide critical rail services and pursue large-scale economic growth,” said OmniTRAX CEO Dean Piacente. “There is tremendous potential for rail-related development in this area because of the port’s strategic location and excellent infrastructure. Our OmniTRAX Industrial Development Team is eager to partner with local, regional and state economic development officials and leverage our Rail-Ready Sites program to connect businesses with rail-served sites and drive further economic development in Southern Indiana.”

Established in 1970, the Mount Vernon port has more than 8,000 feet of river frontage and 10 cargo terminals on the Ohio River handling coal, ethanol, DDGs, grain, soy products, fertilizer, steel, minerals and general cargoes. The port is currently investing $5 million in rail improvements and has submitted a federal grant application for a $16 million project involving the construction of a new railyard and transload facility.

“We have big plans for this port and our new partnership with OmniTRAX is a key step toward expanding the value of our port to the local community and our state,” said Jason May, port director for Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon. “Of the 19 companies vying to provide rail switching operations for the port, OmniTRAX stood out because of the company’s high-level commitment to Mount Vernon and ability to bring major rail and economic development resources to support the growth and development of our port.”

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