BNSF Barstow Mountain train (Photo BNSF)

USA: BNSF has announced plans to develop a $1·5bn rail freight facility at Barstow in southern California with the aim of increasing the use of rail instead of road transport to move containers out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

BNSF told Railway Gazette International that it plans to begin construction in 2024 and open the facility by 2027.

Containers arriving by sea would be transported directly by rail to the Barstow International Gateway for processing and transfer to eastbound trains, eliminating current road transport legs. There would also be facilities for repackaging goods arriving in international containers into domestic containers.

Westbound freight heading to the ports would also be processed at the site.

‘The Barstow International Gateway will maximise rail and distribution efficiency regionally and across the US supply chain and reduce truck traffic and freeway congestion’, said BNSF President & CEO Katie Farmer on October 1. ’This will play a critical role in improving fluidity throughout our rail network.’