After years of planning and waiting, Davenport's Transload Terminal in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center could open later this summer. Recently the city council approved leasing it to a company called Savage Davenport Railroad that would operate the short, rail connection to tracks owned by the Canadian Pacific.
Davenport's chief financial officer Brandon Wright says the terminal will be available to anyone in the area, not just companies in the industrial park.
"The idea of a transload facility is that as a train comes in to that center, it's a location where people can offload freight from rail to truck and from truck to rail, providing for a more efficient and economical way to move large quantities of freight around the country."
Wright says Savage has already started contacting possible customers for the transload facility, while waiting for local and federal approval. But the main user will probably Sterilite, the company that will soon start producing plastic storage containers in its new plant.
"With their plant going up right next to the transload facility, they'll have direct access to the transload for additional spurs that run off to their property. That will allow them to facilitate bringing in construction materials and then also their basic raw materials they'll use to produce their products down the line."
Savage will pay Davenport one dollar per year, and has a ten year lease to operate the Transload Terminal.
Following its agreement with the city, Savage now needs permission from the federal Surface Transportation Board to begin bringing in train cars to the terminal.