Gravel Supply by Rail
Standard General Edmonton, now has the ability to bring high quality aggregate materials to the marketplace via our newly constructed facilities at the Windfall Gravel Pit, located near Fox Creek, our facility in Conklin and our Acheson Unloading Facility and state of the art Asphalt Plant, located just north of the City of Edmonton.
Standard General’s Windfall Gravel Pit is the source of some of the highest quality aggregate material in Alberta. The Windfall Pit, one of the largest gravel operations in the province, is located along the Athabasca River Valley, north of the town of Whitecourt and near Fox Creek, Alberta. Standard General’s lease at Windfall covers 1,200 acres with an additional 1,200 acres that may be opened up at a later date, and contains an estimated 60 million tonnes of reserves.
Construction of the facilities at Windfall began in the winter of 2007 with the first set of rail cars leaving the pit during the fall of 2008. Today, loading is completely automated and is done by way of a system of conveyor belts that transport gravel to a tipple that fills each car with gravel. About 100 rail cars, holding roughly 10,000 tonnes of gravel can be loaded in 4 hours at Windfall. Once the cars are fully loaded, they then make their way to Acheson, Standard General’s new unloading facility and asphalt plant, or to our Windell Facility near Conklin.
Once at Acheson, materials are also unloaded using a fully automated process. The rail cars travel over the tracks at Acheson and travel above a receiving hopper that lies underneath the tracks. The bottom dump of each car is then triggered, releasing material onto a conveyor belt. During the unloading process, the train continuously moves and releases the material. The material makes its way to a conveyor belt which takes the gravel to its desired destination, one of 6 stockpile sites designated for a specific size of material. Once stockpiled, loaders are then used to transfer the required material to the asphalt plant for asphalt material or directly onto delivery trucks for base coarse material. The Acheson site has over 20,000 linear feet of track installed and is large enough to hold 1,000,000 tonnes of material.
Gravel Supply by Rail is more cost effective and more environmentally friendly than traditional means of gravel transportation. Each rail car can hold the equivalent of roughly 3 gravel trucks and wagons, so each train load of 100 cars is taking the equivalent of 300 trucks off of the road network every day, making our roads safer and avoiding costly wear on our highway infrastructure. Shipping by Rail also emits roughly 52% less CO2 than the equivalent in trucks.
Gravel Supply by Rail has given Standard General the ability to provide aggregate materials to many types of customers both public and private including local governments who require gravel to meet the needs of publicly tendered projects to not only the mega industrial projects in the Edmonton and surrounding areas who require large volumes of high quality gravel, such as the oil and gas market near Conklin,and to any project that has rail access.
Through its Windfall, Conklin and Acheson facilities, Standard General has ensured that it can supply the marketplace for future generations, bringing high quality aggregate to its customers in an efficient and responsible manner.