SAN ANGELO, Texas – The 180 acre San Angelo Rail Park in north San Angelo plans to be operational by mid summer 2021. The goal of the project is to allow agricultural and oil industry products to be shipped out of the area, and major industrial components to be shipped in, at lower cost. Based on the higher efficiency it is hoped that more money will stay with local businesses and farms.
“In some ways it could help some agricultural industries there be more competitive,” said South Plains Lamesa Railroad General Manager Shad Wisener. “It could help lower costs, because if some savings are passed on to end users, they could see […] inputs back into their agricultural products.” SPLRR is the company responsible for building and managing the rail yard.
“Shipping your cargos by rail as opposed to individual 18 wheeler tractor trailers is about a 40% savings on on your shipping costs because you can put so much more product into a rail car than just in an individual tractor trailer,” explained Michael Looney, VP of Economic and Industrial Development for the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. According to a project overview report, a single train car can fit roughly as much as four tractor trailers.
This project has a lot of parallels with the Ports to Plains Project. But, it is different in that Ports to Plains is more about easing non-highway road impact and increasing safety. The San Angelo Chamber of Commerce says the two projects are in the same spirit of increasing the efficiency of transportation to and from the Concho Valley. The $14 million rail park project will go on to connect to the Presidio–Ojinaga International Bridge, and when at full capacity see 3,500 rail cars per year.