Fairburn stands out as Trimac's finest transloading facility

Dec. 1, 2006
IT MIGHT be called Trimac Transportation US Company's crown jewel of transloading operations. It is unquestionably one of the most impressive truck-rail

IT MIGHT be called Trimac Transportation US Company's crown jewel of transloading operations. It is unquestionably one of the most impressive truck-rail transfer facilities in the tank truck industry.

“It” refers to Trimac's 29-acre intermodal complex in Fairburn, Georgia. Just 20 minutes south of Atlanta, the facility has just about anything related to transloading that a liquid or dry bulk shipper might want or need.

The ISO-9000-certified X-rail terminal boasts trackage with capacity for 110 railcars, aboveground storage tanks (35 in all) that can hold 20,000 to 180,000 gallons each, two certified weigh scales, full-service tractor and trailer maintenance shop, chemical wash rack with a tote cleaning operation, and an on-site laboratory, and is expanding operations to include smaller quantity packaging. Security features include television cameras and controlled access through an electronic gate.

The facility is fully capable of transferring cargoes into railcars or tank trailers, or smaller packages as requested by customers. Trimac has its own switching engine for moving railcars at the terminal. Steam heat is available for railcars, as is nitrogen and compressed air.

Three boilers are dedicated to product heating. Two 40-horsepower hot water boilers provide heat at five at five designated car spots, and an 80-hp boiler in the terminaling yard serves seven car spots. A fourth boiler with a 50-hp rating in the tank wash rack can be used to heat cargoes in tank trailers.

One of the more unusual features at the terminal is a trestle that enables quick gravity transfer of dry products from railcar to trailer. The facility also has portable pumps for transfer of liquids. For quality assurance, only dedicated hoses, pump systems, and meters are used for product transfers.

Product transfer and storage areas are fully contained for safety and environmental protection. In fact, the storage tanks have primary and secondary containment. Varec gauges are used to monitor product levels in the storage tanks, which are in dedicated use for a wide range of chemical products.

Trimac serves the intermodal terminal with 28 tractors and 43 tank trailers — both chemical and dry bulk units. Fleet operations are directed through a brand new state-of-the-art dispatch office.

The three-bay tank wash rack is open to other tank fleets and can handle a wide range of chemicals, including methylene di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI), polyol, latex, and resins. In addition to tank trailers, the facility can clean railcars when requested by customers. Cleaning service is available seven days a week.

Wastewater from the cleaning operation goes to the on-site treatment plant, as does virtually all storm water runoff. Wastewater is treated to neutralize pH and remove solids.

The laboratory monitors the wastewater treatment process, as well as performing a variety of customer-requested tests on the products stored and transloaded at the terminal. Lab analysis is performed on every tankcar shipment transferred into the storage tanks.