City of Rochelle Announces Railroad Extension Complete

City of Rochelle Announces Railroad Extension Complete

City of Rochelle Announces Railroad Extension Complete

 

     Locomotive “Banner Busting” event held in Rochelle to celebrate Railroad Extension

 

            ROCHELLE, IL… In 1986 the Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation  (GREDCO) Board of Directors and then Executive Director, Ken Wise gave birth to an idea that if you build your own railroad “they will come”. The “they” are businesses and industries would come to Rochelle because of the unique Short Line rail system which connects industries to two Class I Railroads. This group of pioneers took the gamble and won, as now 14 industries are served by the City of Rochelle Railroad and more than 2000 jobs have been created.

 

On Friday morning City and State Officials gathered next to the Illinois River Bio-Fuels plant to celebrate the most recent expansion of the City of Rochelle Railroad. Nearly 4 miles of new track has been built with the support and cooperation of the Illinois Department of Transportation/Bureau of Railroads, the Economic Development Administration, the City of Rochelle, GREDCO, Illinois River Energy, Coated Sand Solutions, Nippon Sharyo and Prologis. The total project was constructed over a two year period at a cost of $8.25M. To celebrate the completion of the project, local dignitaries climbed on board the Burlington Junction Railway locomotive and drove it through a banner commemorating the opening of the rail system.

 

The City of Rochelle Railroad (CIR) has been a major economic development engine for the City of Rochelle”, said Mayor Chet Olson. More than 4000 railcars are switched on the CIR annually and with the extension of the rail system the railcar volumes will more than double. City Manager David Plyman was on hand at the event and said: “We are fortunate to have such a unique rail asset in Rochelle. Our Short Line Railroad not only provides great service to our industrial community but it also generates over $300,000 of revenue to the City on an annual basis”.

 

95% of the cost of constructing the rail extension was covered by public and private grants. Mark Delhotal, the City of Rochelle Railroad Director stated: “We are so fortunate to have this railroad system as it is a great marketing tool to bring more businesses and industries to Rochelle”. 

 

Jason Anderson, Economic Development Director for the City of Rochelle added, “We have been  capitalizing on our infrastructure assets to bring more industry to Rochelle for more than 50 years.  We have interstate highways I-88 and I-39, the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroads, a City owned Short Line railroad, and our own municipal airport. In Rochelle when it comes to transportation infrastructure that new and expanding industries need, we have it all”.