US-based freight transportation company BNSF Railway is set to invest over $1.5bn for the construction of a new integrated rail complex in Southern California.
Set to be located on the west side of Barstow, the new Barstow International Gateway is being built on a site of around 4,500 acres.
The new complex will feature a rail yard, intermodal facility, and warehouses for transloading freight from international to domestic containers.
It will enable direct containers transfer from ships at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to trains for transport onto the BNSF mainline up to Barstow, via the Alameda Corridor.
Upon reaching the rail facility, the containers will be processed using cargo-handling equipment powered by clean-energy.
Later, the containers will be staged and built into trains moving east through BNSF’s network across the country.
To efficiently bring more trains to the ports and other California terminals, Westbound freight will also be similarly processed at the facility.
BNSF president and CEO Katie Farmer said: “By allowing for more efficient transfer of cargo directly between ships and rail, the Barstow International Gateway will maximise rail and distribution efficiency regionally and across the US supply chain and reduce truck traffic and freeway congestion in the Los Angeles Basin and the Inland Empire.
“This will play a critical role in improving fluidity throughout our rail network, moving containers off the ports quicker, and facilitating improved efficiency at our existing intermodal hubs, including those in the Midwest and Texas.”
The new facility will generate 20,000 direct and indirect jobs.
In March this year, transportation and logistics company JB Hunt Transport Services collaborated with BNSF Railway to boost intermodal services.