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Essar Steel Plant

RailWorks Track Systems worked in a heavily wooded Minnesota location to build the track and turnouts for a new Essar Steel taconite and steel facility.
Project Highlights 
  • Constructed more than 65,000 feet of track
  • Built nine turnouts
Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Essar Steel
Business Unit 
RailWorks Track Systems
Project Description 

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

Project Scope 

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 will service the facility when it’s up and running. The plant will be the first in North America to have mining and steelmaking on a single site.