Port Of Inola Rail Line Completed, Links To National Rail System

The rail crossings at the Port of Inola are active now after the creation of a short-line railroad named the Verdigris Southern.

Wednesday, June 5th 2024, 6:31 pm



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The Port of Inola completed a new rail line that connects companies there with the national rail system.

It's an important step in developing the port.

The linkage means companies can ship by rail in addition to trucks and barges when needed, and though there's only one company at the port now, the new railroad could help change that.

The rail crossings at the Port of Inola are active now after the creation of a short-line railroad named the Verdigris Southern.

The train runs on a 4.4-mile track, leading to Sofidel to bring in paper pulp and ship out finished products.

"This rail line means were are truly a port now, we are a multi-modal facility here at Port of Inola. It was an aspirational name at the time, but now that it's active and servicing Sofidel, we can truly call it that," said Tulsa Ports Economic Director Andrew Ralston.

"There's not a lot of states making that kind of investment to improve our infrastructure," said Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell.

The opening of the new line, with a locomotive pushing through a ribbon, brought out state and local officials eager to see the decade-long project finished.

It started when Sofidel was considering building a plant.

"That was really the catalyst to help get this done as soon as possible," said Tulsa Ports Director David Yarborough.

Officials with Tulsa Ports say the Verdigris Southern's connection brings great potential, with Sofidel considering an expansion and Enel Energy still planning to build a factory that could use the railroad for shipping.

"The Port of Catoosa is 2,500 acres, this is 2,500 acres here at the Port of Inola and it has all the right components we need to build it into the next Port of Catoosa," Ralston said.

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