The Des Moines Area MPO has been planning for a new Des Moines Transload Facility, which will strengthen the connection between the region’s trucking and rail freight networks and lower shipping costs for businesses within a 150-mile radius of the capital city. In 2018, the Des Moines Transload Facility was awarded a $11.2 million Better Utilizing Infrastructure to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant.
Greater Des Moines is among few metros in the country to be served by three national (Class 1) and one regional (Class 2) rail carriers, with freight networks stretching from coast to coast and the Mexican and Canadian borders. Only about 25 percent of U.S. shippers have direct access to more than one Class 1 railroad.
However, there is currently a limited connection between the robust rail network and the state’s vast farm-to-market network of roads and highways served by the trucking industry. At present, there is only one transload facility where freight can be transferred between rail cars and semitrucks, and it is served by a single rail carrier, a so-called “captive” facility without competition.
The new Des Moines Transload Facility will be “non-captive,” served by multiple rail carriers, thereby increasing the capacity of rail freight and encouraging competition among rail carriers. This could significantly lower shipping costs and provide a significant boost to the regional economy. Estimates show that the average cost of shipping commodities may drop by 50 percent.
In 2018, the Des Moines Transload Facility was awarded a $11.2 million Better Utilizing Infrastructure to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant.
Past Reports, Studies, and Maps
DSM Railport – Feasibility Report – Final (June 28, 2014)
DSM Railport – Transportation Impediments – Final (August 2014)
DSM Railport – Market Analysis – Final (January 31, 2014)
DSM Railport – Rail Map 2014-08-05
Environmental Assessment – Des Moines Transload Facility (2020)
Appendix A: Wetland Delineation Report and USACE Review
Appendix B: Threatened and Endangered Species Habitat Evaluation (including IPaC) and USFWS Review
Appendix C: Floodplain Map
Appendix D: EDR Radius Map Report and IDNR Letter
Appendix E: SHPO Consultation, Cultural Resources Desktop Assessment, Phase IA Cultural Resources Survey, and Historic Structures Report
Appendix F: Tribal Consultation Letters