2018 January 24 10:09

Port of Long Beach Board approves rail facility project

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday approved the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, greenlighting a project within the Harbor District that will move cargo faster, with fewer environmental impacts, the company said in its press release.

The next steps include the Board's consideration of a baseline budget for the project after preliminary designs are completed over the coming months.

The proposed development would shift more cargo to “on-dock rail,” which places containers directly on trains at marine terminals. Currently, the ability to build long trains is limited due to the lack of adequate yard tracks and the configuration of mainline tracks. On-dock rail usage in the Port was 24 percent in 2017.

The Pier B facility would change this by providing track space to join together sections of trains assembled at terminals. No cargo trucks would visit the facility, enhancing the environmental benefits of pushing more cargo to rail transportation. A one-mile-long train can take as many as 750 trucks off the roadways. Additionally, the rail facility would be operated by Pacific Harbor Line, a switching railroad that has converted its fleet to clean-diesel locomotives that reduce air pollution and save fuel. View a video about the project here.

Throughout last year, the Port conducted extensive outreach on the project’s Environmental Impact Report. The study analyzes the environmental impacts of the planned project, and the mitigation measures that would be used to address those impacts. The draft EIR was released Dec. 15, 2016. Port staff held a series of public meetings and solicited comments from stakeholders to revise the report.