Watco has just added to its network of short line railroads in the United States. The railroad is a new subsidiary of Watco called the Elwood, Joliet & Southern Railroad (EJSR), LLC. The new railroad has purchased property that formerly belonged to Railway & Industrial Services, Inc. (RIS) in Crest Hill, Ill., which is near Joliet, Ill.
The company has also leased a rail line that serves the former RIS facility, along with several customers from Wisconsin Central Ltd., now owned by Canadian National (CN).
Watco plans to use the former RIS property to develop a storage and transit (SIT) yard and provide switching service to adjacent customers and the new yard.
Watco plans to invest in upgrades to infrastructure at the site of the new yard, which will become a significant facility for nearby companies in the chemical and plastic industries. The new yard will cover 39 acres, and will provide customers who need forward storage of bulk materials, including the chemical and plastic industries. A key advantage to the companies will be access to Chicago’s extensive rail network.
Watco’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Stefan Loeb said “Watco is excited to provide a new service solution that will benefit both industries and consumers in the Midwest. Construction will soon start on the SIT yard, and we look forward to providing important storage capacity to the market soon. Watco is also very excited to earn the right to serve and create mutual value with the important customers and Wisconsin Central Ltd. (CN) on the rail line.”
As soon as the Surface Transportation Board (STB) approves Watco’s lease and plans to operate the line, the railroad will be cleared to operate.
“The addition of the SIT yard and the EJSR will provide our current and new customers access to additional rail capacity as well as enhanced services to improve their overall supply chains,” said Doug Conway, Vice President of Sales. “Adding services like SIT and transloading in a large market such as Chicago provides significant value to our customers and we are excited to be able to offer these services with our great partner.”