Union Pacific Property in Kansas City Transformed into Rail Transload Facility for Plastic Pellets

Recent grand opening of Kansas City Facility | LR

Union Pacific’s Todd Hackel (white shirt) attended the grand opening of the Kansas City facility with Dana Transport representatives Kim Feager, Dennis Lawless and Shawn Hensley.

An unused Union Pacific rail yard located in the heart of Kansas City has a renewed lease on life with the recent opening of a rail transload facility in a critical Midwest transportation corridor.

This new destination transload operation was revitalized and developed by Dana Transport, one of the nation’s largest tanker transportation companies, and is a win-win for both Union Pacific and Dana Transport.

Transferring plastic pellets from train to tank car | LR

Transferring plastic pellets from train to tank car.

The new facility will be a key distribution hub for plastic pellets arriving from the Texas Gulf Coast area by rail for truck transport to Midwest manufacturers. Plastic resins are used for medical, automotive, food grade and other industrial purposes.

“We’re very proud of this project, which returned an unused railyard back to productivity, while providing a new transportation solution for our plastic customers and growth opportunity for Dana Transport and Union Pacific,” said Todd Hackel, manager in Network & Industrial Development at Union Pacific.

Hackel and other Union Pacific representatives attended this week’s grand opening for the facility, which culminates a multi-year project that began in 2020 when Dana Transport engaged with Union Pacific’s Industrial Development team about leasing and repurposing the shuttered Union Pacific rail yard known as the Cypress Yard.

“We saw the land before the Pandemic began, and we thought it was big enough to accommodate our plans for growth and our customers’ needs for a transload yard for plastic distribution in the Midwest,” said Dennis Lawless, corporate manager for dry bulk at Dana Transport.

The property is ideally located and enables a track layout that can be scaled up to 100-plus rail car spots.

Plastic-pellet manufacturers in the Texas Gulf Coast will be able to transport their products directly on Union Pacific, without the use of another railroad. “It’s very cost effective for our customers,” said Lawless.

Lawless said the project came with its fair share of challenges, but Hackel and Union Pacific worked to ensure it succeeded.

For his part, Hackel said it was a joint Union Pacific team effort and close collaboration with local agencies that helped bring this project to fruition with Dana Transport, including members from Operations, Engineering, Real Estate and Marketing and Sales.

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