The trains are coming. And Winter Haven hasn’t seen anything like it.

After years of controversy and patience, Winter Haven’s CSX rail terminal, the Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center, opens in early April.

Construction is complete at the site off State Road 60 in Winter Haven, near Lake Wales. Workers there are going through the final phases of training on three massive cranes before the facility starts using them to move containers from the additional trains traveling through Polk County – and the commerce that comes with it.

Soon, the most technologically advanced intermodal terminal in the country will unload trains directly onto trucks — and trucks on to trains — in the most environmentally friendly, most efficient way possible with today’s technology, CSX officials say.

This terminal and others like it — that make shipping easier by being able to use multiple means of transport for one container — are becoming an important part of the rail business.

“Intermodal is the future here and now,” CSX spokesman Gary Sease said, “and Winter Haven is certainly on the vanguard of that.”

It’s also on the precipice of an economic development revolution, local business leaders say.