Long Beach Port Commission approves $870m budget for rail yard expansion


The Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a budget of $870m for the construction of Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility at the Port of Long Beach, US.

The facility, which is being established as part of the port’s $1bn rail improvement programme, has been designed to shift more shipping containers from trucks to rail. It is expected to result in a more efficient and sustainable transfer of cargo, helping the Port of Long Beach to remain competitive and meet environmental targets.

No trucks will visit the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility. The first arrival, departure and storage tracks are expected to be completed in 2024, and additional tracks will come online in 2030. The project will be completed in 2032.

Demand for on-dock rail in the harbour is expected to increase twofold by 2035.

Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners president Tracy Egoscue said: “The Port’s $1 billion rail program is designed to meet the needs of our customers.

“Moving more cargo by train helps our marine terminals transfer cargo faster. At the same time, it helps us make progress toward the environmental goals the Commission set in the Clean Air Action Plan and continue to lead the industry on sustainable operations.”

Currently, the port’s ability to build long trains is limited due to the lack of adequate yard tracks and the configuration of mainline tracks.

The Pier B facility is expected to change this by providing track space to join together sections of trains assembled at terminals. A one-mile train can take as many as 750 trucks off the roadways.

Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero said: “Projects like the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility show our commitment to finding ways to deliver operational excellence for our customers while reducing environmental impacts on the community.

“This development is strategically planned to deliver several key improvements within the next six years. These will provide major incremental benefits to the Port’s on-dock rail network, improving the flow of cargo to and from our marine terminals.”


Image: Port of Long Beach rail yard. Photo: Courtesy of Port of Long Beach.

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