TAMPA — The new Tampa Gateway Rail celebrated its first year in service by moving 3.9 million barrels of ethanol from ships to railroad tank cars, the Tampa Port Authority announced on Wednesday.
That was the whole point of the $11 million project, which extended the railroad to the docks to speed the unloading of fuel and cargo.
The two-mile rail loop was built on the southern end of Hooker's Point to serve both the port's cargo container facility along the East Bay Channel and the storage tank facility of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP.
The public-private rail project was built in conjunction with the port, Kinder Morgan and the CSX railroad company.
The Tampa Port Authority said that it was the first port-based rail facility in Florida built along the docks. The first train arrived in November 2012 and the port said in a statement that "business has been robust" ever since.
The rail facility is capable of unloading trains as long as 96 cars. It unloaded 5,705 cars during its first year, according to the port. The Tampa Gateway Rail is run by TRANSFLO, a subsidiary of CSX.