Port of Vancouver USA celebrates new rail entrance

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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The port and its partners cut the ribbon on a new rail entrance Aug. 13. Left to right: Shari Hildreth, Office of U.S. Rep. Herrera Beutler; David Hodges, Office of U.S. Sen. Murray; Port Commissioner Jerry Oliver; U.S. Sen. Cantwell; Port Commission President Nancy Baker; Port Commissioner Brian Wolfe; Port CEO Todd Coleman; Johan Hellman, BNSF Railway; WSDOT Southwest Region Administrator Kris Strickler; Great Western Malting Commercial Director Brad Loucks.

The Port of Vancouver USA opened a new rail entrance August 13 that will help ensure trains move, goods flow from regional businesses and Washington state remains competitive in the global market.


The $30-million rail project, known as the trench, is a key part of the port’s $275-million West Vancouver Freight Access project (WVFA), which helps reduce regional rail congestion by up to 40 percent, ensuring businesses along the West Coast and between Portland, Oregon and Chicago can effectively move products from source to market.

“Everyone speaking today and many in the audience played a huge part in realizing this project, from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) support of freight to Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) hard work on the TIGER grant program and all those who provided funding for this project,” said port Chief Executive Officer Todd Coleman. “We thank you for helping keep the Port of Vancouver, our region and our state competitive.”

Sen. Cantwell stressed how critical freight projects like WVFA are to the efficient movement of goods, helping Washington state businesses remain competitive as markets change and trade is increasingly globalized.

“One thing’s clear,” she said. “Freight can’t wait. It has to move.”

That is the point of the trench, which eliminates conflicts between trains entering the port and triples the port’s rail capacity, allowing tenants to efficiently move products like grain, steel, Subaru vehicles and wind energy components.

The trench was completed $8 million under budget and ahead of schedule. The entire WVFA is expected to be complete in 2017, roughly a year ahead of schedule and about $50 million under original estimates.


Categories: Intermodal, OFF Track Maintenance