Expected to be complete in late 2023, improvements will benefit the 10th Mountain Division — a joint team of specially-trained U.S. Soldiers and airmen performing operations in rugged, mountainous terrain. Located near the Canadian border where harsh winters are common, Fort Drum is a facility encompassing 107,000 acres, employing 4,700 civilians, and training some 80,000 troops each year with nearly 20,000 soldiers — and their families — stationed there.
Fort Drum’s Garrison Commander, Col. James Zacchino, Jr., recently commented in a U.S. Army news article: “Any time we can improve our infrastructure and provide greater support to our soldiers, it is a good day. This project is a solid investment in Fort Drum’s reputation as a premiere power-projection platform for our Army and our nation.”
“Fort Drum is known for its ability to project power [send troops] around the world," Luzzatto said. "We’re going to build them [10th Mountain Division] a whole new railhead system to move heavy equipment. This will streamline operations and increase efficiency, facilitating timely deployments.”
- A mile of new track includes four parallel tracks with five new loading ramps, allowing simultaneous drive-on loading of rolling stock.
- Container-side loading area allowing container boxes to be loaded at the railhead. (The current railhead lacks this capability)
- A 5,000-square-foot Railhead Operations Building with restrooms and general space for 100 Soldiers to relax and take breaks from deployment operations during harsh conditions. It is equipped with energy-efficient foundation, roof, walls, doors, windows, and ceiling.
- Scale house with weigh in motion and profiling system to expedite loading operations
- Marshalling yard (an area where railway cars are separated onto different tracks)
- Alert holding area (a control area for equipment and vehicles prior to loading)
- Container-handling and storage/repair facility with staging area
- Other improvements include overhead lighting, electric, water, sewer, and gas utilities, a parking lot, and concrete truck-loading ramps. New facilities will have a 40-plus year design life; existing tracks will remain active during construction, except for scheduled shutdowns and infrastructure installations.