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Logistics hub planned for east-central Alta.

A new transportation hub is in the works for the town of Oyen, in south-eastern Alberta.

Sources in Oyen say construction on the Oyen Rail Yard and Logistics Park is expected to begin this fall.

The 155-acre facility will be managed by Alberta’s Special Areas Board, the Town of Oyen and the Palliser Economic Partnership.

Rail service will be provided by Canadian National Railway.

A news release issued by the town states that Phase 1 will transform the existing railyards north of Oyen into a logistics park capable of managing up to 2,500 cars annually.

The facility will handle a variety of materials ranging from agricultural products to industrial construction components and frac sand, used in petroleum extraction.

The initial phase of construction is expected to cost about $2.1 million to develop the site, upgrade existing railway infrastructure and build of new rail facilities.

Iron Horse Energy Services of Medicine Hat, Alta., will be among the park’s first tenants.

Iron Horse plans to ship frac sand and other materials from the hub to destinations in eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan.

In a news release, Oyen Mayor Doug Jones expressed excitement about the economic opportunities the project could bring.

“This project will create jobs, both direct and indirect, it will support future development and it will help maintain Oyen and area as an attractive place to do business.”

Iron Horse vice-president Todd Garman said Oyen is an ideal location from which to distribute frac sand, given the town’s proximity to drilling activity in Alberta and Sask-atchewan.

In an email, CN confirmed that it will provide rail service to the facility.

CN owns a branch line that runs from Oyen through Kindersley, Sask., and Rosetown, Sask., en route to Saskatoon.

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