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Essar Steel Plant

Project Highlights

  • Constructed more than 65,000 feet of track
  • Built nine turnouts
Essar Steel
Grand Rapids, Minnesota

RailWorks built the track and turnouts for Essar Steel’s new taconite and steel plant in Minnesota.

RailWorks crews laid more than 65,000 feet of track and built nine turnouts as part of the six-month, $9 million project.

RailWorks supplied new, 115# rail for the main line and siding tracks. The project featured a Y track off the main line; then two 7,500-foot siding tracks on the project’s south end. The 6-mile main track continued to the north yard, where two 3,000-foot sidings and a 2,000-foot tail track were constructed.

The turnouts constructed were UP/BNSF common standard turnouts – five # 11’s and four # 9’s.

Unique Features

The plant site is in a heavily wooded area without blacktop access. The initial rail lengths had to be delivered by truck in order to complete the first 3,000 feet of the project. After that, the rest of the rail could arrive by rail car on the newly laid track.

The BNSF would service the facility, reportedly the first plant in North America to have mining and steel-making on a single site.