PRICHARD, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia rail cargo facility once touted for its potential economic benefits has been put up for auction.
The Heartland Intermodal Gateway facility opened in 2015 on 76 acres donated by Norfolk Southern railroad. Owned by the West Virginia Port Authority, it was designed to move containers more efficiently by rail through a double-stack method while offering a cheaper alternative to gas-guzzling trucks.
Officials had hoped the terminal could mirror the growth generated by other facilities in places such as Front Royal, Virginia, and Greer, South Carolina.
But officials said the $32 million facility in Prichard, the first of its kind in the state, had lost about a half million dollars a year.
Joe Pyle, whose auction company is handling the sale, told The Herald-Dispatch that the sealed bid auction began earlier this month and had received no bids as of Tuesday. But Pyle said he expected the facility to sell by the end of the April 2 bidding period.
The auction has no minimum bid set.
Pyle said there are a limited number of potential buyers who would have experience operating an intermodal or railroad facility.
Equipment from the facility will be auctioned off separately.