This has been a winning strategy in the past for BNSF and other Class I rails. I am reminded of the Centerpoint facility near Chicago, which provides BNSF a transfer point in the Midwest. But Centerpoint was developed with money from investors, CalPERS being the largest. BNSF hopes to be the prime developer in Barstow, CA.
In case you don’t know where that is, Barstow is in the middle of the Mojave desert, 132 miles from the Port of LA (about 2 hr 27min as I look at Google Maps). It is right on I-15, the main route the movie stars take to go to Las Vegas from LA. Parts of it around San Bernardino are already traffic jams at many hours. However, the BNSF vision is that containers from the port will move by train, reducing traffic on I-15 and other LA freeways.
The Alameda Corridor already moves containers inland a good 20 miles. It’s a double-stack double-track route. BNSF will ensure good rail service from the Barstow yards to the ports.
Transloading and distribution warehouses will be built near Barstow on the BNSF complex. I believe BNSF sees this as a good real estate play as well as a plan to improve container rail service.
I am wondering if the plans for Barstow include customs processing. If so, that would be good for both imports and exports, because they would not have to wait for customs on the ports. That would aid in reducing port congestion.
Joanna Marsh Monday, October 3, 2022BNSF plans $1.5B Southern California facility for intermodal, transloading – FreightWaves