Rio Grande Pacific Corp's freight railways include the Nebraska Central Railroad

USA: Rio Grande Pacific Corp subsidiary Basin Railway Constructors has selected the engineering and construction contractors for the Uinta Basin Railway, a planned 140 km common carrier line to serve mineral, energy, agricultural, construction and manufacturing industries in northeast Utah.

The selected firms are:

  • AECOM: final design, excluding tunnels;
  • Skanska-WW Clyde JV: construction, excluding tunnels;
  • Obayashi Corp: final design and construction of the tunnels.

‘Numerous qualified and technically proficient engineering and construction firms, including most of the major firms in the US, pursued the Uinta Basin Railway project, and provided to us high-quality and creative responses’, said RGPC Chairman & CEO Richard Bertel on May 13. ‘AECOM, Skanska-Clyde and Obayashi provided the best fit to our project objectives of the firms we interviewed.’

A key criterion was a commitment to tribal and local hiring preference, and to include local construction and engineering firms ‘to the greatest degree practical’.

The railway project was initiated by the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition, which was established in 2014 to co-ordinate regional planning and economic development in Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, San Juan, Sevier and Uintah counties. SCIC selected Drexel Hamilton Infrastructure Partners for a PPP concession to finance and build the railway, and Drexel Hamilton partnered with Rio Grande Pacific Corp to operate and maintain it. The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation is an also equity partner.

Construction and operation was authorised by the Surface Transportation Board on December 15 2021.