Port of Vancouver USA studies rail options
Simulation studies on a southern alignment to expand freight rail service to the Port of Vancouver appear promising, the port said Wednesday, after port commissioners saw a report detailing the new option.
Expanded freight rail capacity has become a high priority for the port, officials said in a statement, in light of trade growth projections for West Coast ports and the proposed development of the Columbia Gateway property, which could nearly double the size of port operations over the next decade.
The newest alignment concept was developed after concerns that two earlier proposed options would run north and adjacent to the environmentally sensitive Vancouver lowlands.
Findings in the simulation study showed the existing BNSF Vancouver/Port of Vancouver rail network is already experiencing congestion during peak train volume levels.
A daily average of 27 delays, each longer than 30 minutes, was recorded and nearly half of the delays involved port trains even though port traffic accounts for only 5.2 percent of the rail network total.