PARSONS, Ks. — State leaders were in Southeast Kansas today to celebrate the arrival of the first loaded train cars at the Great Plains Industrial Park in more than 40 years.
Brad Reams, Park Director, said “Great Plains has a great story and we’re adding another chapter.”
Parsons was the place to be Thursday as state leaders visited Great Plains Industrial Park for a ribbon cutting and throwing of the switch.
“This chapter is bringing the rail up to the condition to where it can handle weighted loads and specifically starting with wind components and that will cascade into other economic development opportunities.”
KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz and Secretary of Commerce David Toland were there to celebrate the arrival of the first loaded train in more than 40 years.
“Governor Kelly is absolutely committed to making sure we have prosperity in our rural regions and so I’m at the Department of Commerce to make sure that happens,” said Toland.
The partnership with TP&L was arranged and executed quickly.
Julie Lorenz, KDOT Secretary, said, “This is a fantastic demonstration of KDOT and the state working at the speed of business, from the time we got the call until the first train arrived, we were at 67 working days.”
TP&L will now ship wind energy components to the park–which currently has 27 wind turbine blades.
“I think the return on investment of this project is going to be huge. When you look at, there’s about a million six in capital improvements that were made but that is going to turn over multiple times not just with this business but with other businesses down the road. They’re going to be attracted to the opportunities here at great plains,” said Toland.
So far the park has had one train in and two trains are expected next week.