Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vancouver USA Completes Rail Project

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Vancouver USA and its partners on Aug. 17 cut the ribbon on a $30 million rail project that is expected to help ensure that trains move, that goods flow from regional businesses and that Washington state remains competitive in the global market.

Known as the Trench, the project is a component of the port’s $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access project (WVFA), which aims to reduce regional rail congestion by up to 40 percent.

The Trench is designed to eliminate conflicts between trains entering the port, and triples the port’s rail capacity, thereby allowing tenants to efficiently move products like grain, steel, vehicles and wind energy components.

The Trench was completed $8 million under budget and ahead of schedule. The entire WVFA is expected to be complete in 2017.

Last week’s ribbon cutting featured port officials, US Sen. Maria Cantwell, and representatives from the offices of US Sen. Patty Murray, US Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Gov. Jay Inlsee. A crowd of about 100 people from various partner agencies, port businesses and community groups also joined in the celebration.

Sen. Cantwell stressed how critical freight projects like WVFA are to the efficient movement of goods, helping Washington state businesses remain competitive as markets change and trade is increasingly globalized.

“One thing’s clear: freight can’t wait. It has to move,” she said.