Bob Landucci by the gravel crushers making ballast for new railway tracks at Ashcroft Terminal.

Bob Landucci by the gravel crushers making ballast for new railway tracks at Ashcroft Terminal.

Ashcroft Terminal ready to lay down track

Progress at the Ashcroft Terminal is slow but steady as the company prepares to add another 1.5 km of track.

Building an industry takes time and money. Bob Landucci knows that – he has been building the Ashcroft Terminal since 1999.

The expansion proposed in July 2010 with a $5 million grant from the federal government finally got underway three months ago. The terminal is putting in a new 1.5 km  lead for rail cars. The parallel track runs east to west and will have switches at both ends.

The rails are piled on the site and waiting for the rail bed to be prepared. Landucci expects to be finished and hooked up with CP by the October.

“We call it the First Spike of the development,” said Landucci. “It’ll be pretty satisfying for us.”

“We anticipate a ribbon cutting between September and March,” said Kleo Landucci, vice president of the company.

Currently, the terminal has 11-12 regular customers. After the expansion, they expect another five major customers.

“There’s a mountain of business out there,” said Bob, who sees huge potential in the BC resource industries.

“This is an operating business,” said Kleo. “It’s not an idea.”

The terminal currently has 21 people who rely on it for their job.

“We’ll double this by the time we’re done,” said Bob. “In general, every eight to 10 cars means another job.”

Work at the terminal involves  loading and unloading and railcar storage. They are also making their own ballast on site to go under the tracks, and crushing aggregate for concrete and asphalt.

“It needs a lot of money to build it out,” he admits – $65-$70 million more to finish everything. “We have enough for this phase” thanks to the help of former MP Chuck Strahl, who was Minister of Transport in 2010, and Stockwell Day, who arranged for a $3 million grant, which Landucci matched with $8 million that he raised.

“Without them, we’d only be putting in 1 km of track,” he said.

He said, as well, the terminal has been receiving a lot of attention from potential customers and politicians such as the Mayor and Council of Delta, who have visited the site a couple of times, as AT staff have, in turn, visited Delta Port.

The feds and the railroads have been great to deal with, said Landucci. The terminal has been doing 2,000 cars per year. When the expansion is done, he expects to be doing at least double that number.