TUSCOLA, ILL. — Cargill plans to add a “loop” railroad track at its grain elevator in Tuscola that will give the company access to the CSX railroad. The $6.4 million project, which should be completed next spring, will expand the market for local corn and soybeans to the eastern and southeastern United States and to the Gulf of Mexico.

The rail loop will accommodate 110 grain cars and will loop around the perimeter of 200 acres at the Cargill site. The unit train allows for all cars to be loaded at one place instead of making up a shipment from multiple locations.

“Our draw area for grain is from the five surrounding counties, which are some of the top producers of corn and soybeans in the country,” said Doug Childers, farm service group leader for Cargill AgHorizon’s Central Illinois region. “Having access to load trains on the CSX gives the local farmer customers additional access to the eastern livestock markets, Cargill’s soybean processing plants in the Southeast, and the Gulf export markets.”

Cargill also has access to the CN and the Union Pacific rail lines. The company has operated the grain business in Tuscola since 1969. The Tuscola elevator has a storage capacity of 7.5 million bus in upright concrete and steel space. There is room for another 4 million bus on temporary ground piles.