Port of Long Beach increases rail capacity

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Cutting the cake to celebrate completion of the Pier G/J Double Track Access Project. From left, Long Beach 7th District City Council Member Roberto Uranga, Harbor Commissioner Bonnie Lowenthal, Pacific Harbor Line President Otis Cliatt II, Harbor Commission Vice President Sharon L. Weissman, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council Communications Director Anne-Marie Otey, Port Executive Director Mario Cordero, Deputy Executive Director Dr. Noel Hacegaba, and Deputy Executive Director Rick Cameron.

The Port of Long Beach has completed construction of a new rail project that will increase efficiency of goods movement and reduce congestion on local roadways by shifting more cargo to trains.

The Double Track Access from Pier G to Pier J Project adds a second rail line running approximately 8,000 feet long that enables four terminals in the Port’s south basin area to simultaneously handle arriving and departing trains.

The project is a vital piece of the Port’s ongoing rail infrastructure capital improvement program aimed at shifting more cargo to rail, one of the goals of the 2017 Update of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan.

“This project is an important piece of the rail improvement program that will increase efficiency and lower emissions at our Port,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’re continuing to invest in strengthening our supply chain, prioritizing environmental sustainability and reducing impacts on the communities surrounding the Port.”

“This project will streamline operations and reduce truck trips at a time we are experiencing an unprecedented growth in cargo,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Our investments in on-dock rail will help the Port remain globally competitive and environmentally sustainable well into the future.”

Train access, cargo movement improves with completed double track

Port of Long Beach

“Alleviating truck traffic will enhance air quality and decrease the impact of Port operations on the surrounding community,” said Sharon L. Weissman, Vice President of the Long Beach Harbor Commission. “Moving goods more efficiently and sustainably remains one of our top priorities.”

Construction started in February 2020 on the project, which increases rail efficiency at Piers G and J up to 25 percent. It will also minimize conflict with neighboring terminals’ on-dock rail operations and improve overall safety in the vicinity.

The $34.7 million project was partially funded with a $14 million grant from the state’s Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which was established by Senate Bill 1 to pay for infrastructure improvements on federally designated freight networks across California using money from the state and the National Highway Freight Program. The Port contributed the remaining funds for the project, which was completed early and under budget.

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