GREELEY, COLO. – Great Western Railway of Colorado, LLC, an affiliate of The Broe Group and OmniTRAX Inc., in collaboration with Union Pacific Railroad, has successfully re-established an interchange in the City of Greeley that is expected to enhance rail commerce in the region and is part of OmniTRAX’s larger goal of improving railways across the country.
On February 2, 2016 GWR received the first 100-car unit train at the newly opened interchange in a remote area on the track northwest of Greeley. This historic hand-off represented the culmination of an extensive track rehabilitation and construction project designed to make the time and intensive switching operation more efficient.
“This revitalized line is an important component of economic development for northern Colorado as extensive rail options are often a factor for companies siting a new factory or distribution facility,” said Kevin Shuba, CEO of OmniTRAX. “With the re-establishment of this new interchange, both raw commodities and finished products will be able to move more easily and directly to the final customer.”
Increased rail activity also means less truck traffic, with one rail car equal to about four truckloads of goods. For example, companies located at the Great Western Industrial Park in Weld County generated about 30,000 carloads in 2015, effectively taking more than 100,000 trucks off local highways.
Additionally, evenly distributing rail access in Northern Colorado helps attract world-class employers.
“The more businesses we can attract to the region, the more jobs we can create,” said Shuba. “And, the indirect benefit to the local community is seen through the millions of dollars in community investment and tax revenue paid to local governments and schools.”
Over the last seven years the Great Western Industrial Park has paid more than $21.2 million in taxes to the local school district and $12.3 million to Weld County, NCW, Aims Community College, Clearview Library and Western Greeley Conservation.
The GWR/UP interchange officially opened on February 1, 2016 and OmniTRAX has been working with Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit public information program dedicated to reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities at rail crossings, to plan a series of public information sessions. More details will be released as logistics of the sessions are finalized. OmniTRAX is also sponsoring a weeklong training for the local fire department to ensure they are up to speed on best practices for railroad safety. And they are coordinating with officials to offer the placement of signage in areas where trains will be moving through town.