The Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway (AGR) partnered with Genesis Energy and RailSolutions to create a unique crude oil offloading terminal in Walnut Hill, Florida. The Genesis Energy terminal commenced operation in August 2012, handling unit trains of crude oil from the Bakken Shale area in North Dakota to Walnut Hill on the AGR.
In 2011, Genesis Energy and RailSolutions were seeking a rail location that crossed Genesis Energy’s Jay Pipeline accessing refineries and crude oil terminals in Alabama and Mississippi. With a shortage of crude oil offloading terminals in the Gulf Coast, the idea of injecting crude oil from tank cars directly into a pipeline was to become a reality.
Working with the AGR, a seldom-used rail location was found in Walnut Hill, sitting over the Jay Pipeline system and offering rail capacity and expansion capability to hold a 118-car unit train. The AGR — along with its Class I partners — were able to offer competitive rail pricing, and the AGR was able to help Genesis penetrate the Gulf Coast market previously served exclusively by water.
Benefits to Genesis Energy and RailSolutions:
- This project allowed Genesis Energy to penetrate the eastern portion of the Gulf Coast with high-quality domestic crude originating on the BNSF and CP in North Dakota
- The site offered Genesis terminal access to all Class I-originated crude oil origins in North Dakota, the Eagleford Shale area of Texas, and the Canadian heavy oil-producing areas
- The terminal opened in August 2012 and by January 2013 was handling two trains a week and more than 800 cars a month
- With additional infrastructure expansion, significant rail capacity is created, allowing for future growth
- RailSolutions, the operator of the Genesis Terminal, has created and filled 19 full-time positions, with plans to grow
- After fast tracking the construction of sidings, land development and the pipeline injection system, the Genesis Energy Terminal was complete and operating in just over a year.
Benefits to the AGR and Its Customers:
- Moving unit trains of crude oil over the AGR represents game-changing growth to an underutilized railway
- When at capacity in 2013, the AGR will have successfully completed a multi-million-dollar capital infrastructure improvement project
- The Genesis project will create additional job opportunities on the AGR for train handling and track construction personnel
- The additional carloads moving over the AGR will have a significant impact on the railroad’s ability to reinvest in the rail infrastructure
- All customers on the AGR will benefit from capital improvements via increased train speeds and track quality