​In addition to seeing brisk activity this year, there are still 150 acres of land for new built-to-suit facilities at East Kelly, including logistics and manufacturing options with direct rail access.

East Kelly Railport Manager German Rico delivered these and other updates during his recent presentation at the Second Annual Frac Sand Supply & Logistics Conference in San Antonio. The forum highlighted important energy industry developments, particularly in the nearby Eagle Ford Shale region.

Rico indicated that logistics service providers at East Kelly Railport processed 5,167 railcars in FY2012. For FY2013, Port officials expect the volume to reach approximately 10,000 railcars. About two-thirds of the volume is frac sand which arrives by train and is transloaded onto trucks for delivery to oil and gas well sites throughout the Eagle Ford Shale region.

“Success at East Kelly Railport is the result of having the right location at the right time and working with the right partners to capture market opportunities,” said Rico. “When the Railport was launched a few years ago, we saw steady, moderate growth. Eagle Ford has been a game-changer and provides logistics firms at the Railport a strong future.”

Watco Companies has played an essential role in the Railport’s growth. Starting in 2012, the Kansas-based firm, a leading operator of short rail lines across the country, doubled track at East Kelly from four to eight miles, including a recently completed spur that allows the handling of unit trains (approximately 100 railcars at a time with the same type of cargo). These additions have grown the Railport’s capacity four-fold—from 5,000 railcars a year before expansion to a current limit of up to 20,000 railcars a year.

Furthermore, in 2012 Watco launched the San Antonio Central Railroad, whose engine brings railcars from Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway trains outside the Railport and delivers them to customers’ property within the Railport.

Railcars served at East Kelly Railport by fiscal year (Oct. 1 to Sept. 30)

Source: Port San Antonio