Crystal Valley Co-op Shuttle Train Facility - Hope, MN


Integrating flexibility in the storage and processing design, the facility allows for future growth and expansion

 

Looking to expand their grain services further east, Crystal Valley Co-op invested in a greenfield site for a new shuttle train facility. A project that started as a greenfield is now the client’s largest grain elevator facility out of nine in Minnesota and serves many of the farmers in the surrounding area.

 

Our Approach

VAA provided a multidiscipline design for this large-scale shuttle train facility. Including civil and structural engineering; rail design; general arrangement; and industrial architecture, the project required skilled coordination within the team and between the four separate clients involved. VAA produced the interconnected loop track, steel bin storage and receiving / shipping designs over the course of one year.

The three main steel storage bins can collectively handle 3.8 million bushels of either corn or soybeans. The system includes a grain dryer and an automated scale allowing for simplified monitoring and distribution of shipments. Five bucket elevators, eight distribution conveyors and two box truss bridges supported by the tower were designed to move the goods through each section of the facility. Due to the large size of the boot pit and 210’ tall main tower, the team designed a unique truss to strengthen and support the below-grade structure.

Results

Stretching over 8,000 feet, the new loop track design allows shuttle trains to easily access the facility without disrupting the existing Union Pacific main line. The rail terminal is capable of loading grain onto 110-car train and accommodates the facility’s goal rail loadout capacity of a 80,000 bushels per hour. A project that started as a greenfield is now the client’s largest grain elevator facility and serves many of the farmers in the surrounding area.