Frac Sand Rail Terminal Helps Industrial Sand Mining Company Expand Sand Processing Operations

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Jordan Sands, a sand mining and processing company, wanted to expand its silica sand mining operations, which they had just won permit approval for earlier in 2013. Its plan was to develop and install a high-quality sand processing facility along the northern border of an industrial park in the City of Mankato. A new rail terminal was needed to provide storage and transloading services for the new frac sand plant. The proposed site was adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) railyard, which was a highly advantageous location for Jordan Sands because UP delivered direct to the company’s market in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. However, existing wetlands lay between the site of the new facility and the railyard. This presented a challenge.


SEH provided extensive design services to develop alternatives for a rail loadout and sand storage facility, a rail loading building, and 14,600 total ft. of track that included one loading track and six storage ladder tracks. The SEH team addressed railroad track alignments and profiles, grading, drainage and storm sewer. SEH also performed a traffic impact study and wetland delineation, which the local municipality, Lime Township, required to obtain permitting.

To minimize wetland impacts, the SEH team relied on its comprehensive understanding of railroad design requirements and wetland rules to successfully modify the rail layout. The team's solution was to use abandoned railroad beds that had been camouflaged by overgrown vegetation, which were discovered during the extensive time they'd spent on-site performing survey and wetland delineation.  

By using our ample in-house expert resources, the SEH team was able to help this client minimize impacts to the project schedule – and well as concerns we all had early on about potential costs of environmental permitting due to wetlands.
Scott Lange, PE* – Project Manager

*Professional engineer registered in MN, ND, SD

Related Content: First of Its Kind, Fully Enclosed Shredder and Processing Equipment

Rail Terminal

City of Mankato, Minnesota

Jordan Sands


  • Track design and construction
  • Railcar staging
  • Right-of-way
  • Design surveys
  • Hydraulic and drainage design
  • Environmental permitting
  • Cost estimates
  • Contract and bidding documents
  • Contract administration
  • Utility coordination