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BNSF to Build New Integrated Rail Complex in Barstow to Increase Nationwide Supply Chain

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bnsf train raiway in barstow
Barstow Mountain Train (Photo: Business Wire)

BARSTOW, Calif. (VVNG.com) — On October 1, 2022, BNSF Railway announced plans to invest more than $1.5 billion to construct a state-of-the-art master-planned rail facility in Southern California – and the first being developed by a Class 1 railroad.

The Barstow International Gateway will be an approximately 4,500-acre new integrated rail facility on the west side of Barstow, consisting of a rail yard, intermodal facility and warehouses for transloading freight from international containers to domestic containers.

The facility will allow the direct transfer of containers from ships at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to trains for transport through the Alameda Corridor onto the BNSF mainline up to Barstow.

Conceptual – Subject to Change

Once the containers reach the Barstow International Gateway, they will be processed at the facility using clean-energy powered cargo-handling equipment, and then staged and built into trains moving east via BNSF’s network across the nation. Westbound freight will similarly be processed at the facility to more efficiently bring trains to the ports and other California terminals.

“By allowing for more efficient transfer of cargo directly between ships and rail, the Barstow International Gateway will maximize rail and distribution efficiency regionally and across the U.S. supply chain and reduce truck traffic and freeway congestion in the Los Angeles Basin and the Inland Empire,” said Katie Farmer, President and CEO of BNSF. “This will play a critical role in improving fluidity throughout our rail network, moving containers off the ports quicker, and facilitating improved efficiency at our existing intermodal hubs, including those in the Midwest and Texas. The facility will also have an important positive economic impact, including the creation of new, local railroad jobs,” said Farmer.

“The significance of BNSF’s investment to improve the supply chain here in California cannot be overstated. Rail plays a critical role in moving goods safely and efficiently, while reducing emissions due to congestion in many of our high-traffic corridors,” said Trelynd Bradley, Deputy Director of Sustainable Freight and Supply Chain Development at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. He added, “Projects like BNSF’s will work to strengthen our inland local economies, such as that of Barstow in San Bernardino County. We look forward to continuing to work with projects like these, as well as others, to drive transformative investments that will enhance and elevate California’s supply chain ecosystem for a more efficient and resilient tomorrow.”

“BNSF’s planned Barstow International Gateway will improve cargo velocity through our port and reduce truck traffic on our freeways,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This project will help ensure that goods moving through the San Pedro Bay will get to consumers, businesses and manufacturers with speed and reliability.”

(The facility will allow the direct transfer of containers from ships at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to trains for transport through the Alameda Corridor onto the BNSF mainline up to Barstow.)

“The Port of Long Beach welcomes BNSF’s planned Barstow International Gateway in the High Desert. This project will help improve supply chain fluidity, reduce environmental impacts and enhance the competitiveness of California and the nation’s largest port complex,” said Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Executive Director.

Dawn Rowe, San Bernardino County Supervisor for the Third District, added, “The County of San Bernardino plays a critical role in supporting the movement of goods to the rest of the country. Barstow International Gateway will be essential for modeling new and efficient ways to address supply chain issues that have impacted everyone over the past several years.”

Willie A. Hopkins, Jr., Barstow City Manager emphasized, “This facility will bring thousands of jobs to Barstow, while increasing equity, opportunity and the economic competitiveness of the High Desert.” He continued, “BNSF has been an important part of our city since its inception and on this 75th anniversary, we are proud to partner with them to ensure our success in the future.”

“We appreciate the support from leaders at the state, regional and city level and look forward to building on our 140-year history in the High Desert to open the Barstow International Gateway as soon as possible,” affirmed BNSF’s Farmer.

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