AAPA Seaports Advisory

Rail News: Long Beach, Vancouver USA

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

Port of Long Beach Seeks to Increase On-Dock Rail

The Port of Long Beach will begin public hearings next week on a draft environmental study for the proposed redevelopment of an existing rail yard into a new facility that could increase the use of "on-dock" trains, moving cargo faster while making operations more sustainable.

The Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, proposed for the northern area of the Port, would shift more cargo to "on-dock rail," where containers are placed directly on trains at marine terminals, significantly reducing trips by trucks throughout the region. No trucks would visit the rail facility. Instead, smaller train segments would be brought to the facility to be joined together into a full-size train.

The rail yard would be operated by Pacific Harbor Line, which provides short haul rail transportation switching services, railroad track maintenance and train dispatching services under contract to the Port. Pacific Harbor Line is the first railroad in the nation that has converted its entire fleet to clean diesel locomotives that reduce air pollution and save fuel.

Port of Vancouver USA’s Rail "Trench" Wins International Innovation Award 

Port of Vancouver USA's Rail "Trench"
Photo / Port of Vancouver USA

The Port of Vancouver USA won an IHS Dredging and Port Construction Innovation Award for its "trench" project – the new rail entrance into the port.

The trench is a new east-west rail entrance that eliminates conflicts with north-south rail traffic by bringing trains under the 1908 Columbia River railroad bridge. The unique structure, which is watertight and sits atop more than 410 steel pilings embedded in the river’s north bank, is the cornerstone of the port’s $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access project.

The IHS awards included a rigorous judging process by industry experts. In selecting the trench as a winner in its category, the judges said, "This was an innovative and interesting method of both design and construction, which resulted in more capacity, fewer delays and used innovative techniques, making the Port of Vancouver USA a worthy winner."

"I couldn’t be more proud of our project and the hard work of everyone involved, including port staff, consultants BergerABAM and HDR Inc., and contractors Hamilton Construction and Rotschy Inc.," said port interim CEO Julianna Marler.

"This is a very unique and innovative structure with benefits that stretch far beyond the port’s borders. By reducing delays on the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad mainlines, the trench keeps goods from U.S. farmers and businesses flowing to consumers here and overseas. It’s a critical project that helps American businesses remain competitive and supports jobs and economic health."

The trench was completed in August 2015.


Back to AAPA Seaports Advisory

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn