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Gallup moves toward logistics center with rail terminal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The beginnings of a logistics center are going up in Gallup, raising hopes of economic development in a region long frustrated by a lack of infrastructure.

In its initial phase, the center, called the Gallup Energy Logistics Park, LLC, will consist of a $4 million rail terminal and additional rail track, but the company behind the project has much grander plans for the 2,500-acre parcel.

Gallup Land Partners LLC hopes to attract commercial partners to build a large industrial park that can act as a logistics hub for the entire area, according to Steven Edelson, the company’s rail consultant.

“The idea is to open up a whole new corridor for the companies in Farmington and Four Corners to work together and increase their productivity,” said Edelson. “It should bring substantial economic development and jobs. The rail hub is the first shovel in the ground.”

The site plan calls for 11,000 feet of rail that will connect to a mainline track owned by BNSF Railway. The railways in the area are currently being used for coal transportation, but the company imagines them being used to transport any number of items, according to Jacob Bracken, manager at Gallup Land Partners.

“There are a lot of manufacturers who like access to rail,” said Bracken. “That’s the type of thing with a high potential for creating jobs. We’ve already had a few companies express an interest.”

Edelson said he hopes the logistics park will also attract trucking operations, which will have easy access to the nearby Interstate 40 and U.S. 491.

Patricia Lundstrom, director of the Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation, said the ultimate goal was to turn Gallup into a logistics hub along the lines of Santa Teresa.

“We’re a long way from that,” she said. “But the possibility is there.”

The groundbreaking ceremony for the rail terminal will take place on Monday. It is expected to be completed in January 2017.