The connection of existing Union Pacific rail to the Sedalia Rail Industrial Park is complete, and the first railcars used by park tenants were delivered to the Park on Thursday, May 13.

The Sedalia Industrial Rail Park, which is located east of North Highway 65, was established in December 2018 as a joint venture between the City of Sedalia, Pettis County, and Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County (EDSPC).

The project was made possible through a $10.09 million federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant awarded to the City of Sedalia by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funds allowed the City to extend railroad tracks to the new park.

Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County, together with other city staff, worked very diligently with Missouri’s federal delegation to include Senator Blunt, Congresswoman Hartzler, Congressman Graves and Senator Hawley to complete the grant application requirements through the Federal Rail Association within the Department of Transportation.

Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County Board of Directors President Rusty Kahrs applauded their support. “Navigating any federal program can be challenging enough on its own but working through a new federal grant program that also involves a new rail system presents a whole new set of challenges.  The assistance and intervention we received from the members of our congressional delegation was critical to our successful completion of this project.  I want to personally express our gratitude on behalf of our board and the citizens we represent.”

Union Pacific approved the design and service plans, ensuring a reliable rail service for new companies looking to locate to the park, as well as existing companies who need rail service to increase shipping and receiving efficiencies.

Following a 2019 federal shutdown that lasted nearly a month, Sedalia’s project was the first BUILD project to break ground in the nation. The project, led by the EDSPC Office, brought 11,900 feet of new track and a wye, or triangular junction, to the park and connected it to the Union Pacific’s main line. When fully developed, the 2,900-acre Sedalia Rail Industrial Park will be one of the largest, exclusively rail-served industrial parks in the United States.

The park’s recently completed rail infrastructure, which includes drop/pull trackage and a mainline wye connection, provides new prospective rail customers with an excellent, cost effective and robust speed to market site solution. “Union Pacific Railroad is very proud to provide this new connection to the Sedalia Rail Industrial Park and we are looking forward to serving Nucor and all future tenants at this industrial park,” said Linda Brandl, Vice President - Marketing and Sales Operations.

Nucor Steel Sedalia, which began full-service operations in January 2020, was the park’s anchor tenant followed by TMS International. Each tenant within the park benefits by having access to a working rail yard, reducing costs and increasing efficiencies in product receiving and shipping.

“The overarching goal with the rail park is to spur interest from new companies to locate there and create more jobs for the regional economy,” said Jessica Craig, EDSPC executive director. “It is the ‘crown jewel’ in our recruitment toolbox. The amount of interest we’ve received so far from companies has been phenomenal. A nice byproduct is the interest some of our existing companies have expressed in also utilizing rail service in their current operations. It’s a win-win all around.”

Craig said that additional funding received last fall will allow the EDSPC Office to move forward with the design, engineering and master planning for future development and expansion of the rail park. The EDSPC in care of the Sedalia Pettis County Community Service Corporation received $25,000 through Evergy’s Hometown Recovery Grant.

“The Evergy Hometown Recovery Grants are awarded for attracting or expanding businesses, developing strategic plans to prepare an area for development and projects related to job recruitment, retention  and workforce,” Craig said. “With these grant funds, we are excited to move forward with the rail design and master plan for future phases of the Sedalia Rail Industrial Park.”

Craig and her team are beginning to plan a ribbon-cutting at the Sedalia Rail Industrial Park and details will be released soon.

For more information about EDSPC or to learn more about the Sedalia Rail Industrial Park, call  (660) 827-0884, or visit sedaliamoed.com.

--Submitted by Sedalia-Pettis County Economic Development (EDSPC)