ARRC Community Ties
Third Quarter 2009
This summer, long-time Alaska Railroad customer Granite Construction Company (GCC) moved much of its gravel extraction operation from Palmer to Birchwood, where GCC has a five-year license to extract about four million tons of material. The land belongs to Eklutna, Inc. while CIRI owns the sub-surface/gravel rights. Once the gravel is mined, Eklutna can develop or lease the land. ARRC has already expanded the number of tracks at Birchwood to serve as an extension for Anchorage Rail Yard operations. GCC partnered with the railroad to construct the mining operation spur and supporting infrastructure. The new gravel operation includes a state-of-the-art conveyor system able to load 83 car-loads at the rate of 2 minutes per car. The facility's first train pulled in August 4, when 80 cars were loaded and returned to South Anchorage in less than 12 hours. The Birchwood gravel extraction operation represents a major private investment that will support an important line of Alaska Railroad business.
"Here are some photos from the first revenue gravel train to load at the new Granite Birchwood pit. Less than two months ago this was all woodlands and now it is an active mining operation with a state of the art conveyor system able to load 83 car trains at the rate of 2 minutes per car. The very first train departed Anchorage at 0730 on this past Tuesday the 4th of August 2009 for Birchwood and successfully loaded 80 cars and made a turn to South Anchorage in under 12 hrs. The second train ran today and starting next week this facility will be actively loading 5 nights per week." Dave Blazejewski, ARRC Superintendent of Transportation
See also Birchwood yard
Photographs courtesy of David
The photographer is a railroad employee and was wearing all required personal protective equipment.
The ARRC does not permit the general public on to their private property without permission.
Page created 12/4/09 and last updated 12/4/09