Sandy Creek Energy Station

Project Highlights

  • Constructed a 33,000 loop track of continuous-welded rail
  • Installed 10 turnouts, including six solar-powered turnouts
Sandy Creek Power Partners
Riesel, Texas
Provided By

RailWorks installed a 33,000-track-foot loop track and 10 turnouts for a power plant in Texas, operated by Houston-based Dynegy Inc.

RailWorks constructed track for a coal-fired electric plant near Waco, Texas. Crews built the 33,000-foot loop track using continuous-weld rail. Included in the project were 10 turnouts, two of which are mainline turnouts connected to the Union Pacific line. Another six turnouts are solar-powered.

Unique Features

When the time came to weld the rail, the grade wasn’t yet ready so workers welded 80-foot sections of rail into 1,440-foot segments. The track was later moved into position when the grade was completed.

Sandy Creek Energy Station’s solar-powered turnouts help promote energy and labor efficiencies. Besides capturing free fuel, the solar-switch machines are centrally controlled, eliminating the need for leave the train and manually throw switches.

The Sandy Creek plant began operation in 2013 as a 900-megawatt facility that is among the largest in the United States using supercritical steam generators. Hallmarks of supercritical technology are operating efficiency gained through a better power-to-fuel ratio, and lower plant emissions. The facility generates electricity for more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Texas.