Garden City and Great Bend have been selected as finalists for development of transload shipping centers.
The two communities emerged from a group of seven cities, whose representatives made formal presentations in August before the Transload Facility Site Analysis Selection Committee, which includes private sector representatives. The seven cities are among 111 sites that were initially proposed.
The Kansas Department of Transportation, along with the Kansas Turnpike Authority and departments of Commerce and Agriculture, served as advisors to the team.
In the coming weeks, Garden City and Great Bend leaders will be asked to provide business plans and financial models that will detail the development costs and the projected increase in related rail service and business opportunity. Based on that and other relevant information, the state will determine the amount of funding to contribute to the projects.
“I’m confident the cities, state and rail providers will develop a funding package that will allow these projects to move forward,” said Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King.
Transloading is the process of moving goods from one mode of transportation to another, or in this case, from truck to rail and rail to truck. By blending the benefits of shipping by rail and local/short haul trucking, a transload facility can provide more flexible and cost-effective solutions for customers who may not have local access to freight rail service or those who need expanded warehousing.
“I was extremely pleased with the process and partnerships with the trucking industry and the railroads,” said Secretary King of the proposals. “We learned a great deal about railroad operations, expectations and the potential we have in our state.”
The Transload Facility Site Analysis Selection Committee comprises Kansans from industry, finance, transportation, technology, agriculture, banking, development and energy.