The Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility would shift more cargo to on-dock rail, which places containers directly on trains at marine terminals.
The Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission is expected to consider a newly released final environmental impact report (FEIR) for its planned Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility during its Jan. 22 meeting.
The final EIR for the proposal to redevelop a rail yard within the Port of Long Beach to move cargo faster and with fewer environmental impacts was released by the port on Friday.
The proposed Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility would shift more cargo to on-dock rail, which places containers directly on trains at marine terminals.
The port is proposing to reconfigure, expand and enhance the existing facility in multiple ways, including by improving roadway traffic flow to enhance motorist and rail safety by eliminating an existing railroad crossing; and reconfiguring existing tracks and add additional tracks to allow trains up to 10,000 feet long to directly connect to the on-dock rail facilities and the Alameda Corridor railway.
The port would also potentially acquire additional land to the north of the Pier B rail facility to provide for additional rail car storage and staging.
The ability to build long trains is currently limited due to the lack of adequate yard tracks and the configuration of mainline tracks, but the Pier B facility would change this by providing track space to join together trains assembled at terminals.
No cargo trucks would visit the facility.
A one-mile-long train can take as many as 750 trucks off the roadways, the port has estimated. 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.
“Building longer trains within the port would lessen local traffic congestion related to goods movement,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. “This facility is vital to meet our environmental goals while helping us stay competitive and power the city’s economy.”
The final EIR analyzes the environmental impacts of the proposed development, and the mitigation measures that would be used to address those impacts. It follows the draft EIR, which was released Dec. 15, 2016.
Earlier this month, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) sent a letter to Long Beach’s harbor commission in support of the project, saying that it would ease congested truck gates at terminals and help the port to meet a near-term goal of moving 35 percent of containers via on-dock rail.