A milestone in project cargo movement was recently reached at the Head of the Lakes as crews handled the heaviest Canadian Pacific (CP) direct, single-line rail move from the Port of Duluth-Superior to western Canada. Two, 300-ton transformers arrived at the Clure Public Marine Terminal in Duluth on Nov. 5. Both units were manufactured in Germany and shipped from Rotterdam along with multiple crates of accessories. Crews from Lake Superior Warehousing Co. discharged the high, wide, and heavy cargo directly onto specialized railcars waiting dockside
One of those specialized cars, a new 20-axle railcar, was recently introduced into American service. A train comprised of this car and eight others (including a 16-axle railcar) left Duluth and made its way along a 1,200-mile CP clearance route northwest to Lethbridge, Alberta, where the transformers will be installed to power the Montana Alberta Tie Line – the first international merchant transmission line in North America.
“When fully operational in 2011, the 214-mile transmission line will connect the electricity markets of Alberta and Montana,” said Paul Kos, Director of Engineering for Montana Alberta Tie Ltd, “opening a huge potential for development in renewable energy projects in both countries.”
“The Port of Duluth factored into this single-line rail move,” said David Walker, Senior Manager, CP Logistics Solutions. Since 2005, CP has handled most of wind energy components inbound to southern Alberta for wind energy projects in that region. “This transmission line will transform renewable energy into power for customers on both sides of the border. CP is excited to have brought the two heaviest transformers through the Port of Duluth, one of our premier transloading partners.”
CP completed upgrades to bridge infrastructure in Minneapolis-St. Paul a couple of years ago to accommodate the movement of more large cargo through Duluth. “When it comes to designing end-to-end transportation,” noted Walker, “using Duluth’s multimodal facility makes possible a single-line, cross-border rail haul that creates huge benefits for our customers.”
“This is a CP-served facility, with on-dock rail and intermodal transloading capabilities – the farthest inland port on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway,” said Jonathan Lamb, Vice President and General Manager of Lake Superior Warehousing Co., terminal operator for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Clure Public Marine Terminal. “Our location lets us collaborate with key marine and railway companies involved in transportation logistics, for a transmission line project like this and for renewable energy companies across the heartland.”
“This move has proven to be a great example of the innovative collaborations being forged today,” added Walker, “shared efforts to provide solutions for the efficient, specialized transport of high/wide and heavy project cargo from its point of origin to an installation site halfway around the world.”
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