The Port of Portland awarded a $2,250,000 construction contract to BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) this month to construct switching and track improvements at the BNSF’s A and B rail yard near the Terminal 6 (T-6) container and auto-import facilities. The work is part of the T-6 Intermodal Third Rail Lead Project.
The third rail lead into T-6 will provide better access to intermodal trains going into and out of the T-6 intermodal yard, while allowing simultaneous switching of automobile and intermodal trains on the existing leads, and create additional areas for staging unit trains.
‘Our on-dock intermodal yard at T-6 can handle about 500,000 teus annually, and finding customers who need that capacity is one of our highest priorities,’ said Port Marine Director Sam Ruda. ‘To successfully market this asset we needed to develop a dedicated intermodal rail lead providing both BNSF and Union Pacific Railroad with improved access between their mainlines and T-6. The new third rail lead will make this improvement and improve our ability to market T-6 as a reliable, high-speed, high-capacity intermodal gateway.’
The Port will put out a competitive bid contract later this fall for constructing the actual third lead, which entails building 7,500 feet of new track. The contract for that work should be in front of the Port Commission for approval in November. The total cost of the project is $6 million. In 2004, the Port received a grant of $850,000 from the State of Oregon Industrial Rail Spur Program Fund for the project. The Port will fund the remaining cost from its General Fund.
The project is expected to begin this December and be completed by July 2007. Work will be scheduled to avoid interference with facility operations at T-6.