The shuttle loader facility has a rail shipping capacity of 80,000 bushels per hour and a 115-car circle track. That, combined with a total truck receiving capacity of 60,000 bushels per hour, gives the Kennebec Elevator the fastest dumping speeds in the industry, the company said. The new site has a total grain storage capacity of 4.08 million bushels. The Kennebec location is served by Dakota Southern Railroad that operates on the 41-mile, rehabilitated Chamberlain to Presho heavy-rail line.
“This is the first of many trains to load grain from our Wheat Growers facility, and we are so excited to share this moment with producers in the Kennebec territory,” said Dale Locken, chief executive officer of Wheat Growers. “Producers in the area are having a good year so far with excellent winter wheat and soybean yields, and now that the rail line is back in business, their crops will go by rail instead of being trucked out of the area to another location.”
The rail rehabilitation was funded by private, state and federal funds. Wheat Growers built the $40 million grain and agronomy facility in Kennebec when the state committed to rehabilitating the rail line for heavy use.
“There’s a lot of local pride in this facility, because producers in the area formed the Rails to the Future group that raised a million dollars to help get the project going,” said Todd Longville, manager of the Kennebec location. “This first train has brought additional excitement about the new opportunities we have here in Lyman County.”
Wheat Growers broke ground on the Kennebec site on Oct. 16, 2014, and the facility officially opened in June 2016.