STONINGTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A big upgrade is coming to the grain elevator in Stonington.

Instead of 375 truckloads of corn being hauled from Legacy Grain to Decatur, that 375,000 bushels of corn will instead have a train ticket to new markets.

“We are expanding our rail loading capabilities here at the Stonington elevator,” says LG General Manager Kevin Walker. “We’re going to have the capability for loading a hundred cars on the Norfolk Southern.

“Currently, we can load 50 cars, and then we’re going to have the ability to weigh those cars as well.”

Walker says a mile long double track is being installed.

“We’re going to put track in down to the south of town here that will help hold the hundred cars,” he says.

WCIA: Why are we doing something like this?

“We are just trying to get opportunities or find additional market opportunities for our customers,” says Walker. “We’re a cooperative here and the mission of the cooperative is to provide our customers with competitive markets for their grain and we’d be able to get into the Gulf or the southeastern poultry market, into the east, into some markets In the east. There’s a lot of additional opportunities we’d be able to hit.

“We’re putting a new unloader underneath this concrete house and a new leg: a 60,000 bushel-an-hour leg that will elevate the corn up to the bulk weigher that loads into the cars.”

WCIA: That will load a car within a very short period of time.

“Yeah, about 4 minutes to load a car is what it should take. If we have enough courage to run it that hard. Its going to take some time to learn it,” he says.

WCIA: What’s the timetable on the project?

“We are hoping to be complete by the first of November,” says Walker. “This elevator will be operational this fall, but the whole project won’t be completed until sometime in early November.”

Three-hundred-seventy-five-thousand bushels, one trainload at a time.