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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Washington state's long-term port initiative addresses rail capacity constraints


Last week, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire unveiled a ports initiative that calls for increasing rail capacity and improving transportation infrastructure during the next 10 years.

The governor is encouraging the ports of Seattle and Tacoma to jointly develop an infrastructure improvement plan that addresses container shippers’ needs to spur traffic growth.

“If we fail to act now, we are in danger of losing container traffic to competitors on the West Coast, in British Columbia or in Mexico,” said Gregoire in a prepared statement.

During the past decade, state ports’ import traffic increased 74 percent and export traffic rose 30 percent. However, truck traffic on Interstates 5 and 90 nearly doubled, and BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad significantly increased the number of trains serving the ports on existing mainlines, Gregiore said.