Skip to main content

Port of Los Angeles Advances $34M Rail Yard Expansion to Ease Cargo Movement

The Port of Los Angeles is moving ahead with a major rail project to optimize on-dock rail operations and improve the flow of cargo throughout the nation’s busiest harbor complex.

The Terminal Island Railyard Enhancement Project will reduce truck trips, tailpipe emissions and congestion on local streets and freeways, improving roadway safety, port officials said.

“Maximizing our rail network is vital to operating America’s cleanest, most competitive seaport,” Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee said. “The economic and environmental benefits extend to our customers, neighbors, regional transportation system and our nation. We appreciate the $21 million grant from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program that will fund a significant portion of this project.”

The $34 million project will be funded with a $21.6 million grant from the State Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017—Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which funds improving freight corridors in California. The port will fund the remaining $12.4 million.

The project expands an existing intermodal rail storage yard on Terminal Island, adding more than 31,000 feet of track to expand the number of storage tracks to 11 from six. The project will increase capacity and use of Pier 400 on-dock railyard by up to 525,000 Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, representing about a 10 percent overall increase in capacity for the Port of Los Angeles.

“Expanding this rail yard creates a ripple effect of intermodal efficiencies within the Port of Los Angeles and throughout the entire San Pedro Bay port complex,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “It is a key element of regional and state transportation plans to improve safety and traffic conditions along some of our nation’s most crowded commuter and freight corridors.”

Related Stories

By increasing on-dock capacity at Pier 400, the project also will free up capacity at another major storage and staging yard located on Terminal Island, improving overall rail operations throughout the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The project is a critical link between the San Pedro Bay port complex and the Alameda Corridor, which carries about 11 percent of all waterborne containers entering and exiting the U.S.

As rail demand increases, the expanded rail yard is projected to eliminate an estimated 1,250 truck trips per day by 2040. Shifting the amount of containers currently moved off-dock miles from the port to on-dock rail at the port complex is a key strategy of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update, the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan and the California Freight Mobility Plan.

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission formally approved the project’s Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration in early October, which concluded the environmental review process. The Port is currently preparing the final design.

The construction contract award is expected by June 2020, with project completion by early 2022. More than 300 construction jobs are expected to be created during the course of the project.