Friday, March 9, 2012

Stockton Rail Expansion to Open

A 5,800-foot rail expansion at the Port of Stockton, which could help double the port’s exports of iron ore and coal, is scheduled to open March 9.

The new tracks, which were added to east port interchange tracks, form a loop to enable inbound and outbound trains to operate without interfering with operations at the port’s east complex class yard.

The Port of Stockton currently handles three trains of export iron ore per week. It and the San Francisco Bay’s Port of Richmond are currently the only ports on the U.S. West Coast that handle export iron ore. Richmond handles two trains.

The extension’s expected to enable Stockton to begin receiving three more bulk unit trains of iron ore or coal per week, increasing the weekly capacity to six trains. In addition, the tracks are expected improve interchanges between UP, BNSF Railway and Central California Traction, and reduce rail equipment dwell time at the port.

The project was financed by the port, UP and terminal operator Metro Ports. The track, which was constructed by Industrial Railways Construction, was finished in 100 days, according to the port.

The port says it plans to employ up to 18 additional daily workers due to the expansion.