Northern Plains Rail Service has started operations as a transloading site in Grand Forks.
NPRS broke ground on its Grand Forks facility in July 2019 and opened in August 2020. Phase one of the project provided railcar repair and cleaning cleaning services. According to a news release from the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, the company has concluded phase two of the project, which includes the transportation of goods and adds another option for long-distance transport of cargo. NPRS is the first company in the region to serve as an open resource to transport by rail.
“We loaded our first transload car here in January,” said Brock Lautenschlager, marketing director for NPRS. “Now (we are) looking to see if there's other opportunities to help serve the Grand Forks area and the transload market for customers that don't have rail access today, so it’s pretty exciting."
The facility is located on 283 acres of land on the northwest end of Grand Forks. The railroad company is looking to further develop its Grand Forks site for industries in the area that need access to the BNSF railway to move products into and out of the Grand Forks trade area.
NPRS anticipates the Grand Forks site is well-positioned to service a trade area extended up to 100 miles from Grand Forks. Since opening in 2020, the company has brought 10 jobs to the area, and more are expected to follow.
The Grand Forks facility is designed to function as a complement to another Northern Plains facility in Erskine, Minnesota. The company is currently shipping biofuels and is able to ship or receive other bulk commodities.
NPRS is part of Northern Plains Rail Companies, which together, provide a variety of services for customers that utilize rail transportation services or operate a rail-served facility throughout the Upper Midwest and across western Canada.