• Fort Riley's New Railhead to Open Friday (4/1/11)

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A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by Deval
http://www.fortrileypost.com/newsdetail ... le_id=5367

Project to expand Fort Riley rail yard
3/24/2011 #5367

During Operation Desert Storm, Fort Riley could deploy an entire division in 28 days. Now an entire division can be deployed in about seven days. This is made possible with a recent $13.5 million expansion project of the rail yard at Camp Funston.

The newly expanded yard will be opened with a ceremonial golden spike event at 11:30 a.m. April 1

“It gives us a tremendous capability to increase the speed of deployment and make it a rapid deployment,” said Richard Wollenberg, installation transportation officer, Directorate of Logistics. “Now, we are really back to where we should have been five or six years ago when the war began, and so we’re looking at moving an entire brigade out of here in a day and a half; that’s 200 rail cars every 12 hours and 400 rail cars every 24 hours.”

Brig. Gen. Randal Dragon, deputy commanding general-support, 1st Infantry Division, and James Young, Union Pacific president, will drive in the golden spike, signifying the completion of the project and opening of the rail yard.

Army equipment will be on display at the Deployment Support Center in Building 1986, Camp Funston.

Tours of the installation will be conducted March 31 to show dignitaries the installation’s growth and construction at Fort Riley in the last five to 10 years.

Prior to this expansion, Fort Riley could deploy about 100 rail cars in a 24-hour period of time, where as now, an entire brigade can be deployed in less than two days, Wollenberg said.

“With the additional tracks, we’re now able to store a brigade’s worth of cars – about 700 cars – between (the area around Building 1502), Camp Whitside … and the new yard.

Previously, it would have taken us six or seven days to get a brigade out of here,” Wollenberg said.
A deployment involves loading tactical equipment onto rail cars, which are then loaded into trains, with each train being about 50 cars.

“The trains progress down the line to the port of Beaumont, (Texas), in a staggered fashion,” Wollenberg said.

The staggering of the trains corresponds with the ship that loads at Beaumont, without all trains being at Beaumont at once requiring a constant movement of equipment from Fort Riley.

“What this yard gives us the capability of doing is taking those loaded trains, now which we didn’t have the capability in the past to do, and moving them into that yard so that they’re sitting there waiting for the railroad to move them down the line,” Wollenberg said.

With the recent addition of Fort Riley’s own locomotive, they’re capable of doing that sooner rather than later, he said.

Eventually, Fort Riley will have three locomotives, each with a three-man crew operating on a 24/7 basis, allowing the capability to move loaded cars to storage, while pulling empty cars into the loading docks almost simultaneously.

“(The project) was instituted to correct a serious deficiency that we had with our rapid deployment out of Fort Riley,” Wollenberg said. “Even though we have the best or one of the best railheads in Fort Riley, we had difficulty accessing the Union Pacific main line to get out of Fort Riley in a reasonable amount of time.”

Now Fort Riley has easy access to the main line without interfering with normal Union Pacific commercial traffic.

This project was a partnership between Union Pacific, Fort Riley and the Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Union Pacific worked with Fort Riley for the last five years, while the Corps has been working on the project for the last four years, as it’s gone from the initial concept to the design phase to the actual construction phase, Wollenberg said.

“It’s been a highly successful partnership between the three organizations. Everybody got along extraordinarily well,” Wollenberg said. “The Union Pacific participated in every phase of the design, so it met their criteria as far as utilization was concerned, and in fact, a significant part of the construction was handled by the Union Pacific, rather than the contractor.”

Wollenberg described the project as smooth – so smooth that Fort Riley was able to deploy one brigade while another was returning from the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., halfway through the construction process, he said.

Contractors for the rail yard project were Queen City Construction, Inc., out of Rochester, Minn., and Milord Company, out of Bridgeview, Ill.

By Shandi Dix
1st Inf. Div. Post
  by Teutobergerwald
Fort Riley, KS, home of the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized).......No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great, Duty First!