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Rail News: Intermodal

BNSF's California on-dock unit sets container-handling record in July


Last month, BNSF Railway Co.’s Southern California On-Dock (SCOD) operations handled a record 117,032 containers, surpassing units handled at the railroad’s Los Angeles/Commerce, Calif., intermodal facilities for the first time. SCOD operations include nine on-dock rail terminals at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach.

During 2006’s first seven months, SCOD’s traffic increased 28.3 percent compared with the same 2005 period.

BNSF officials attribute the volume increase to improved velocity. The railroad recently added train crews to handle a growing number of trains moving to and from the ports, increased the number of trucks that service and fuel locomotives directly at the ports, changed schedules with customers and marine terminals to prevent congestion, and began operating longer solid-block trains to improve line-haul service.

“We’d like to grow from 60-plus trains a week to 70, 80, or 100 or more,” said Director of Port Operations James Johansson, who oversees SCOD operations, in a prepared statement.