Rail Center moving forward in Lyon, Churchill counties

Plans have been announced for a future rail center and industrial park west of between Fernley and Fallon.

Plans have been announced for a future rail center and industrial park west of between Fernley and Fallon.

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Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), Gateway Commerce Center LLC and Watco Companies, LLC (Watco) have announced a new and long awaited rail center and industrial park is set to move forward in Lyon and Churchill counties.

Watco will partner with GWCC to build an Intermodal Rail Center as part of the larger industrial park development.

The Gateway Commerce Center project is a phased 2,000 acre development located in both Churchill and Lyon Counties near Hazen on U.S. Highway 50 Alternate. When completed, the park’s Intermodal Rail Center will provide direct rail access enabling the development’s occupants, as well as business throughout northern Nevada, to ship to and from locations across North America and to access major sea ports for global trade. The park will provide a major logistics center that’s unparalleled in the state, once again moving Northern Nevada to the forefront of economic growth within the Western United States.

“The addition of the Gateway Commerce Center is an exciting addition as we work to place Nevada at the top of the list for companies seeking the best expansion location in the West,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. “The rail center will help enhance Nevada’s existing transportation infrastructure and will offer an additional option for cost-effective logistics.”

Watco, Gateway Commerce Center’s partner for the rail aspect of the park, is a transportation company providing transportation, terminal, port services solutions and mechanical repair operations for customers throughout North America and Australia. The Pittsburg, Kan., based enterprise is one of the nation’s largest short rail companies, operating 35 short line railroads with more than 4,700 miles of track. Watco’s Terminal and Port Services division currently manages 55 terminals, 29 switching locations, 9 warehouses and 2 port locations.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Gateway Commerce Center, LLC on this important project,” said Rob Thrall, VP of Business Development of Watco Companies. “The center’s ideal geographic location and the business friendly environment of the State of Nevada are a winning combination for the successful marketability of the park, as the development progresses.”

Gateway Commerce Center will enjoy many advantages, including a dual served mainline rail accessible industrial park located near the junction of I-80, U.S. 50 and U.S. 95. In addition, the site is within a Class 3 Waste Disposal Zoning area making it capable of hosting major recyclers and other industrial operations requiring this type of zoning and who are dependent on major rail services. Class 3 Waste Disposal zoning combined with mainline rail is only currently available at two sites in the U.S., one in Texas and another in Oklahoma.

“The recent economic activity in Northern Nevada demonstrates the need for a development such as the Gateway Commerce Center,” said William Rose, Principal of Gateway Commerce Center, LLC. “This project has been in the works for years, and we are happy that the timing is finally right and that everything is lining up perfectly.”

“Once again, the Sierra Region of Nevada is proving to be the best bet in the West,” said Robert Hooper, Executive Director of Northern Nevada Development Authority. “The addition of the Gateway Commerce Center is a major game changer, not only for Lyon and Churchill Counties and the State of Nevada, but for the entire West Coast.”

NNDA has assisted the Gateway Commerce Center developers for more than three years and continues to coordinate the process with the support of Churchill County, Lyon County and the City of Fernley.

Ed McKechnie, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Watco Companies, will be speaking at NNDA’s monthly breakfast event on Wednesday at the Carson Nugget from 7 to 8:30 a.m. McKechnie will discuss Watco’s interest in the Gateway Commerce Center project, the future of rail transportation in the United States, and the role Northern Nevada will play as a growing industrial hub. For more information and to register for the event, visit www.nnda.org.


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