Long Beach rail project approved

Port of Long Beach The proposed development would shift more cargo to ‘on-dock rail’
Industry Database

A rail project at the Port of Long Beach to enable faster cargo transportation with reduced emissions has been approved.

The Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility is expected to provide track space to join together sections of trains assembled at terminals, reducing reliance on trucks and increasing operational productivity.

“This project is vital to our ability to stay competitive and will minimize truck trips generated by anticipated cargo growth,” said Lou Anne Bynum, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “Moving more cargo by rail to and from the Port reduces air pollution and makes operations more efficient.”

On-dock rail

The proposed development would shift more cargo to ‘on-dock rail’, which places containers directly on trains at marine terminals. Currently, the ability to build long trains is limited due to the lack of adequate yard tracks and the configuration of mainline tracks. On-dock rail usage in the port was 24% in 2017.

No cargo trucks would visit the facility and a one-mile-long train can take as many as 750 trucks off the road, said the port. Additionally, the rail facility would be operated by Pacific Harbor Line, a switching railroad that has converted its fleet to clean-diesel locomotives that reduce air pollution and save fuel.

Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero commented: “The Clean Air Action Plan calls for increased use of on-dock rail, and we have a goal of raising our on-dock volumes to at least 35 percent of our shipments.”

The facility is due to be located within the Harbor District, southwest of Anaheim Street and Interstate 710.

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