NEW AGREEMENT BRINGS RAIL SERVICE BACK TO THOROLD MULTIMODAL HUB
For Immediate Release
June 10, 2022
THOROLD, ON – Bioveld Canada and HOPA Ports have signed an industrial switch agreement with Canadian rail services provider, GIO Railways Corporation, to enable the use of existing CN Rail infrastructure at the Thorold Multimodal Hub to transload cargo. A switching agreement allows a short line operator (GIO Rail) to use the track owned by CN to provide first- and last-mile delivery and transload services.
New rail capabilities will help attract a range of industrial users who are looking to move goods through Southern Ontario, or into the Northeastern United States.
“Integrating and expanding the rail service offering to our tenants and customers has always been part of HOPA’s vision for the Thorold Multimodal Hub,” said Jeremy Dunn. “The fact that we have rail connecting indoor and outdoor transloading space and rail car storage right beside the Welland Canal are all part of what makes the Hub so unique.” This agreement will improve connections and modal choice for customers, and expand trade flows through the Thorold Hub.
The Thorold Multimodal Hub is a 200+ acre multimodal industrial complex in Niagara, adjacent to the Welland Canal. Unique to Niagara, it features marine, rail and highway access, as well as over 500,000 square feet of indoor warehouse and outdoor storage space, which can be configured to a wide variety of industrial, cargo handling and ancillary operations.
“With GIO Rail on board, we can operationalize rail lines that have not been used in more than two decades,” said Justus Veldman, Managing Partner of Bioveld Canada, a BMI company that owns the site and brings expertise in the productive repurposing of industrial brownfields.
In the near term, rail users will have access to the site’s transload, integrated warehousing, and railcar storage capacity. Looking ahead, the site will include marine-rail connections, a reactivated gantry crane and rail scale as part of a tailored supply chain solution. “Our approach is to work with users to reactivate these assets in a customized way that meets the needs of contemporary users,” said Veldman.
The partners see potential value for users in sectors such as forest products, liquid bulk, plastics and metals, critical raw materials for the manufacturing and construction Industry.
Based in Welland, ON, GIO Rail has extensive experience operating industrial switching operations and short line railways throughout Ontario. In partnership with CN Rail, GIO has been a rail operator and service provider in the Niagara Region since 1997. “We are thrilled to expand our footprint into Thorold in partnership with CN Rail, and to see these lines revived,” said Neil Johnson, Vice President, GIO Railways Corporation.
“Room to grow and complete multimodal connections are value we are providing to users of the Thorold Multimodal Hub,” said HOPA’s Jeremy Dunn, while the addition of new supply chain options will provide modal choice and helping to alleviate pressure on regional highways.
The development is welcomed by Thorold’s civic and business leaders. “Yet again the Thorold Multimodal Hub is showcasing how partnerships and collaboration are yielding results,” said Thorold Mayor, Terry Ugulini. “It is through transload operational capacity, integrated warehousing and railcar storage capabilities that sustainable supply chain can be achieved. This rail infrastructure will support the new creative industrial industries that call the Thorold Multimodal Hub home and will assist in the attraction of new investment. On behalf of Thorold City Council and our Economic Development team we welcome this announcement and look forward to the prosperity it will bring to the Niagara Region.”
About GIO Railways Corporation (GIO Rail):
GIO Rail offers specialized services that both railway operators and industrial customers require to manage their operations, including short line railway operations, industrial switching, carload inventory management, and safety management system design and implementation.
About HOPA Ports:
As an integrated port network, HOPA Ports offers port and marine assets on the Great Lakes. We are developing multimodal spaces, including in Niagara, to support Ontario’s industries and facilitate trade. By investing in high-quality infrastructure and prioritizing sustainability, we build prosperous working waterfronts in Ontario communities. The Thorold Multimodal Hub is managed by HOPA Ports under its subsidiary, Great Lakes Port Management.
About BMI Group and Bioveld Canada:
The BMI Group, owner of Bioveld Canada, is a venture development company specializing in structuring public-private partnerships to activate the emergent potential of the natural, built, and social environment. From new housing development to multi-modal infrastructure, the BMI Group brings together multidisciplinary teams to finance, plan, design, and manage a growing and diversified portfolio of projects.
About Thorold Multimodal Hub:
The Thorold Multimodal Hub is a 200-acre multimodal industrial complex in Niagara, adjacent to the Welland Canal. Unique to Niagara, it features marine, rail and highway access, as well as over 500,000 square feet of indoor warehouse and outdoor storage space, which can be configured to a wide variety of industrial, cargo handling and ancillary operations. The Hub comprises space owned by HOPA Ports, as well as a 155-acre former paper mill; the massive facility was purchased recently by Bioveld Canada Inc.
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