Westar Energy Spur Track Expansion (Lawrence Energy Center)

Lawrence, KS

To consolidate their operations and improve efficiency for the delivery of dependable power to their customer base, Westar Energy had to increase rail car yard space at their Lawrence Energy Center (LEC) Facility, to accommodate a BNSF 135 car unit coal train.

RIC was hired to plan and design the track expansion project to meet BNSF and Westar’s operational goals. The project included coordination with George Pacocha, the BNSF Manager of Economic Development for Unit Coal Trains and Westar staff to update and revise the LEC’s rail operations plan, which was routed through BNSF’s management, operations and engineering departments.

RIC also provided complete surveying of the project site, railroad engineering meeting BNSF’s Industrial Standards and AREMA guidelines, project permitting through Westar’s environmental division, assistance with automated switching, coordination of an existing fly-ash pond closure, and construction assistance.

The LEC had a goal of getting the yard operational by the end of 2016. The project commissioning took place on December 8th, 2016 with final inspection by BNSF. During a field visit and inspection, George Pacocha at BNSF indicated that he thought the project was very successful.