Watco partners with Great Northern Project Development on new transload terminal

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Watco Terminal and Port Services and Great Northern Project Development, L. P. (GNPD) are partnering together in the development and operation of a major multi-purpose rail transload terminal and railcar maintenance shop near South Heart, N.D.


South Heart Rail Terminal (SHRT) will serve the energy industry and its service providers to meet the increasing demand and development of the Bakken, Three Forks, Tyler and emerging oil and gas formations. Construction is expected to start in the first half of 2014 with operations projected to begin during the first quarter of 2015.

SHRT will be strategically located just south of Interstate 94,12 miles west of Dickinson, N.D. and will offer rail, transload and railcar maintenance services, as well as warehousing and materials storage. The terminal will be served with national connectivity via BNSF and will feature two double-loop tracks and 12 manifest tracks. SHRT will accommodate multiple unit trains, manifest business and significant long or short term railcar storage needs.

A full service railcar maintenance facility, operated by Watco Mechanical Services, will be located on-site to provide services to tank car owners and lessees. Based on 10-year growth projections in the crude oil sector alone, there will be a need for an additional 70,000 tank cars in the U.S. fleet with 60 percent of those needed for the Bakken Shale area alone. SHRT’s rail car maintenance shop will provide services to assist customers with tank car inspections, testing, qualifications, preventive maintenance, retrofits, paint and lining. In addition, Watco Compliance Services will provide fleet management solutions, engineering and regulatory guidance to ensure ongoing safety and mechanical integrity.

“Watco is very excited to be partnering with Great Northern and Quintana Minerals on such an exciting project in the Bakken Region,” commented Dan Smith, president of Watco Terminal and Port Services. “We believe this facility will be a great compliment to our existing Bakken Region customers and will help build new relationships both in and out of the energy sector. The service offerings we will provide our customers at this facility are a great compliment to our existing operations in this region.”


Categories: ON Track Maintenance, Shortline/Regional