Georgia-Pacific to build rail line connecting plant to GFRR mainline

Written by Paul Conley, Editor-in-Chief
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Construction in-progress at one of the three lumber plants announced by Georgia-Pacific in 2018.
Georgia-Pacific

Forest-products powerhouse Georgia-Pacific is building a rail link to connect a new plant to the mainline of the Georgia & Florida Railway, LLC (GFRR.)

Construction of the new subsidiary rail line and related crossing and communications upgrades is expected to begin this month and be completed in 2019. The rail line will run from the site of a planned facility in Albany, GA, to the GFRR’s mainline in the adjacent Albany-Dougherty Industrial Park. The paper-and-lumber giant will pay all costs to build the link.

The companies did not disclose the estimated costs of the rail link. A spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific told Railway Track & Structures that a contractor had not yet been chosen for the project.

When the the line is complete, it will serve a $150 million, 320,000 square-foot, Georgia-Pacific plant slated to open in late 2019.

The Albany plant will produce approximately 300 million board-feet of lumber a year. That translates to more than 1,250 railcars of building materials and wood chips transported on the GFRR annually, according to a written statement from OMNITrax. GFRR is affiliated with OMNITrax, a Denver-based provider of railroad and transportation services.

Georgia-Pacific is a maker of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. The company is a major producer of gypsum panels and other building materials. Among its better-known consumer-facing brands are Brawny® paper towels and Quilted Northern® bath tissue. In addition to the Albany facility, Georgia-Pacific announced the construction or two other lumber facilities in 2018.

The GFRR operates a network of 222 miles of track between Albany and northwestern Florida, interchanging with CSX in Foley, Fla. and  Thomasville, Ga., and with Norfolk Southern in Adel and Albany, Ga. The short line’s customers include Miller Brewing, Flint Hills Resources and Procter & Gamble, and the carrier transports liquid and dry bulk, pipe, plastics, construction products and more.

History buffs will be interested to know there was once a Georgia Pacific Railroad. It, like more than 100 other lines, was absorbed into the Southern Railway.

Categories: C&S, Freight, News, Shortline/Regional, Track Structure
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