BNSF to spend $1.5 billion building Barstow rail complex

By Larry StewartOctober 10, 2022

Barstow Mountain Train on the Barstow grade. BNSF’s new Barstow intermodal yard will cover 4,500 acres with a rail yard, intermodal facility and warehouses. Image: BNSF Railway

With supply deficiencies front and center in today’s news and economy, 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, Calif., consisting of a rail yard, intermodal facility and warehouses for transloading freight from international containers to domestic containers. The facility will allow direct transfer of containers from ships at the nation’s largest port complex, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, to trains for transport through the Alameda Corridor onto the BNSF mainline up to Barstow about 130 miles away. At the Barstow International Gateway, they will be processed using clean-energy powered cargo-handling equipment, staged, and built into trains moving east on BNSF’s network. Westbound freight will similarly be processed at the facility to more efficiently bring trains to the ports and other California terminals.

Image: BNSF Railway

“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.”

“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.”

employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com.

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