Yesterday, the Des Moines Metropolitan Area Planning Organization issued a press release on a proposed new intermodal transloading facility.
The appropriately 30 acre Des Moines Railport is envisioned as an intermodal hub and warehousing facility, It would allow BNSF, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, and the Iowa Interstate Railway to interchange freight and offload it to trucks for delivery to destinations as far as 100 miles.
The Des Moines Rail Transload Feasibility Study notes that an environmental analysis for the site may be required, but makes no reference to a study of environmental health impacts on nearby neighborhoods.
In the video clip below, from Des Moines television station KCCI, a city manager notes potential impacts of truck and train traffic on nearby streets and neighborhoods. The City Council has not yet considered the proposal. Neighborhood meetings are planned.
Interestingly, although transloading of crude oil at the Railport is not mentioned in the feasibility study or press release, the video clip shows large numbers of DOT-111 tank cars, used for carrying crude oil.
According to the Des Moines Register, in January, a spokesperson for the Iowa Interstate Railway, which is “very interested in being the primary serving railroad” for Railport, refused to say whether they transport crude oil through the city.