Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Work Begins on New Vancouver USA Rail Project

Work has begun on a rail line at the Port of Vancouver USA that would travel below the BNSF and Union Pacific’s north/south mainline on the Columbia River Rail Bridge.

The configuration along the banks of the river would prevent port-bound rail from blocking the north/south rail line, according to the port, while increasing the efficiency of rail movement into and out of the area.

Early stages of construction include building a watertight trench to support the concrete foundation for trains that will travel into the port, including the expanding rail yard corridor.

The task is the latest in the Port of Vancouver USA’s West Vancouver Freight Access Project, or WFVA, a $137 million effort by the port to create jobs and generate revenue by investing in freight rail infrastructure. The WFVA, which began in 2007, is divided into 20 elements; the rail expansion is known as Project 16.

Among the major elements of the project that have been completed are the June 2010 completion of a unit train facility at Terminal 5; and rail improvements near a city of Vancouver waterfront development in 2008.

Work began on Project 16 this week and is expected to be complete by the end of February, 2013. Work on the full WFVA project is expected to be complete by 2017.