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The Port of Oakland is ready to move more cargo via rail, the port's Executive Director Chris Lytle told a meeting of railroad executives in San Francisco last week.The port has two "outstanding partners" in Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway Co., Lytle told the annual meeting of the North American Rail Shippers Association."Everyone in Oakland would like to see more cargo move and out of the city on the rails than over the road," said Lytle, according to a port press release.The port is building momentum following a record year for load container volume in 2016 — and there's room to grow on the rails, he said.Late last year, the port completed a $100 million rail storage yard with 41,000 feet of track. Located within sight of Oakland marine terminals, the facility should be ideally located for export shippers, said Lytle. Additionally, Cool Port Oakland will open in mid-2018. The 300,000-square-foot refrigerated facility will be the pivot point for exporting beef, pork and chicken to Asia. Those shipments will likely come from the Midwest in rail cars, then go into ocean containers at Cool Port Oakland. The facility would be able to handle 36 refrigerated rail cars at one time, Lytle said.Moreover, developments going up next to the port could generate additional rail traffic. The developments, which are being built on city-owned land, could attract cargo shipped in bulk, a likely candidate for the port's rail yard, he said.
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