AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port/Rail Access: Vancouver USA

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Vancouver USA: Decade-long rail improvement project nearing completion

The Port of Vancouver USA’s West Vancouver Freight Access project (WVFA) is a decade-long, $250 million effort by the port to create jobs and generate economic benefit by investing in freight rail infrastructure.

The overall project consists of 21 individual projects to improve freight rail movement through the port and along the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad mainlines connecting the Pacific Northwest to major rail hubs in Chicago and Houston, and from Canada to Mexico.

After several years of construction, the port and its contractors are building the final two contracts for WVFA, which are slated to be complete by early 2018.

The first, Project 7, pertains to the Kinder Morgan bulk unloading facility, which is used for dry bulks such as copper and bentonite clay. Project 7 demolishes the existing facility and builds a larger facility in a new location, with a new conveyor system connecting to the existing storage building. Relocating the Kinder Morgan facility will allow the port to add tracks to its rail corridor, including the pieces necessary to complete the next project in the WVFA series.

Kinder Morgan’s new, larger facility will allow products in a covered, enclosed area, thus minimizing dust from copper and other minerals during the transfer process. Project 7 is scheduled for completion late this year.
Project 11B focuses on facilitating grain movements via unit train by constructing a new lead track from the port’s south entrance and adding load tracks. So doing increases rail capacity for United Grain Corp., which in 2016 moved more than 5.0 million metric tons of grain cargo, making it the port’s largest customer by weight of shipments. Project 11B is expected to be complete by early 2018.

Investing in projects like WVFA is one way the port says it leverages tax dollars, grants and revenue to support businesses and commerce, attract industries to Vancouver and create jobs for the region.

Crews are building the last two WVFA contracts, including a new bulk unloading facility for customer Kinder Morgan
Photo/Port of Vancouver USA

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