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Long Beach Port Adds New Rail Lines to Improve Cargo Movement

Cargo routed through the Port of Long Beach will now be moved more by rail than by truck as the city looks to reduce truck traffic to ease bottlenecks and curb pollution too.

As part of the $93 million Green Port Gateway project, a third rail line with nearly six miles of new track was added around the Long Beach Port to help manage cargo growth at the nation’s second busiest port after Los Angeles.

The new track will serve the Long Beach Container Terminal, International Transportation Service and the Pacific Container Terminal, which combined manage half of the cargo coming in through the port, the Press Telegram reported. It will also support the new Middle Harbor mega-terminal that can handle three million container units.

Fewer trucks on the road will also mean less pollution. Port officials say the project could lead to as much as 2.3 million fewer truck trips, which translates to 300,000 tons of greenhouse gases. According to the port, trains emit one third of the harmful gases on a ton-mile basis than trucks do.

With the added track, the Port of Long Beach will be able to meet its goal of increasing rail cargo movement by 35 percent and eventually by 50 percent.

Harbor Commission board president Lori Ann Guzman told the Telegram, “This Green Port Gateway rail project is a perfect example of the types of initiatives that the Port of Long Beach will be embarking on to ensure that we can move the cargo quickly.