BNSF Railway’s proposed Southern California International Gateway will eliminate 1.5 million truck trips a year between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles, the railroad stated in conjunction with the release Thursday of the updated draft environmental impact report on the project.
BNSF intends to construct a near-dock intermodal rail transfer facility about four miles from the nation’s largest port complex. The SCIG would be located adjacent to the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility operated by the Union Pacific Railroad.
Containers currently moving between the ports and BNSF’s Hobart yard near downtown Los Angeles must be trucked 24 miles on the I-710 freeway and local roads.
The updated draft EIR released by the Port of Los Angeles addresses issues of concern to residents and businesses near the proposed site, including air quality and traffic congestion.
Matthew K. Rose, BNSF chairman and CEO, said the proposed SCIG would be a green facility that uses the latest environmental technology. BNSF will clean up an existing industrial facility at the site. The railroad will use wide-span electric cranes, ultra-low emissions switching locomotives and low-emissions railyard equipment at the SCIG.
By 2026, some 90 percent of the truck fleet that will service the yard will be powered by liquefied natural gas, or will be of equivalent low-emissions technology. Trucks will be required to travel on a designated industrial corridor, and each vehicle will be equipped with GPS tracking to ensure compliance, BNSF said.
BNSF will donate $3 million to the ports’ joint technology advancement program to further the development of zero-emissions goods-movement technology. BNSF has concluded a $255 million project labor agreement with the Building and Construction Trades Council for construction of the SCIG, the railroad said.