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April 9, 2012


Greetings ~


A variety of transportation and energy related projects fill the bulk of this edition of NewsLink, with stories focused on everything from high speed rail upgrades and developments leveraging our superior multi-modal assets, to the horse power at Fairmount Park. Read on for all the details, as well as news about additional investments being made in Southwestern Illinois by Ameren Illinois and Northwestern Mutual.


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One million bushels: Big grain terminal set to open soon in Fairmont City (Belleville News-Democrat, 3/27/2012)


Over 500 trucks full of grain will be traveling through East St. Louis daily en route to the Mississippi River barge-and-rail facility thanks to the new grain terminal in Fairmont City opening this month. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the big new terminal, which will be a combination barge-and-rail facility, will hold more than 1 million bushels of grain when finished as well as employ up to 20 full time workers once it has opened. The terminal is being built as a collaboration between food and feed giant Bunge North America, of St. Louis, and SEACOR Holdings, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Read More)


Rails to get upgrades for high-speed trains (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/29/2012)

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad are proceeding with upgrades to the rail line between Chicago and St. Louis in preparation for future high-speed Amtrak trains. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that construction is set to get underway this month and calls for installing new rail, upgrading bridges, culverts and drainage and installing new signals and renovated road crossings. Due to construction, detours will be implemented between Chicago and St. Louis with alternate transportation in both directions between Joliet and St. Louis.  (Read More)


Ameren Illinois to develop training center in Belleville (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/3/2012)

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Ameren Illinois has announced
plans for a new training center in Belleville, which will be used to train new and existing employees in various areas and to provide support for the yet-to-be-installed automated "smart meters." The new training center involves the renovation of existing structures that includes additions of indoor and outdoor classrooms. The investment represents about $7 million of the $625 million grid modernization plan to be implemented over the next ten years(Read More)


Fairmount Park season opener: Track will feature larger fields, higher purses (Belleville News-Democrat, 4/2/2012)
Fairmount Park
The newly improved Fairmount Park kicks off its 86th season of horse racing this month. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that due to a recent influx of cash, Fairmount Park pumped up the daily prize purses and resurfaced the track which is, in turn, luring more horses to this season's races. Out of the $141 million that was held in escrow and distributed to the state's five tracks, $14 million was released last fall to Fairmount Park. About half of those dollars are going toward refurbishing and additions at the track planned over the next three years, including a new giant video screen on the track's infield that is planned to be operating by the Kentucky Derby on May 5. The rest of the money will be added to daily purses awarded to winning horses.  (Read More)


Northwestern Mutual expands with new offices in Edwardsville (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/6/2012)

Northwestern Mutual financial services, which is located at 1254 University Drive off of highway 157 in Edwardsville, has completed a $2.1 million expansion.  The expansion includes 19 individual offices and 17 cubicles, allowing workspace for 52 new employees.  (Read More)


Ranger Steel opens distribution center in Madison, Ill. (St. Louis Business Journal, 3/28/2012)


Ranger Steel LogoThe St. Louis Business Journal is reporting that Houston-based steel plate distributor, Ranger Steel Services, has leased 40,000 square feet of storage space from St. Louis Reload Inc. in Madison Ill. The company hopes to leverage the locations transportation hub of interstate highways, intercontinental rail lines and the mighty Mississippi River in order to ship steel faster, more efficiently and cost-effectively. The new facility will stock carbon plate and house two grades of domestic steel plate - high strength and low alloy products.  (Read More)

Contact Information

Scott Schanuel

 Interim Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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