Thursday, April 22, 2010

BNSF touts expansion of Memphis intermodal facility

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BNSF Wednesday “introduced” its new Memphis Intermodal Facility in a  grand opening ceremony, following a $200 million expansion and rebuilding effort. The facility now will double BNSF’s lift capacity in the Memphis market and improve efficiency while also reducing emissions and helping to improve air quality.

The facility covers 185 acres and will offer a capacity to handle 1 million lifts per year at “full build out,” BNSF says.

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Among other intermodal features, the facility is equipped with eight widespan, electric, rail-mounted gantry cranes, which produce zero emissions on site and will significantly reduce the number of hostler trucks needed to move containers within the yard. It also includes a streamlined automated gate system for trucks as they enter and exit, which uses digital cameras to record images of containers, chassis, and tractors. Drivers are also identified using a biometric system. These enhancements have increased security, while improving throughput, reducing truck idling time and emissions by 50%.

“BNSF greatly appreciates the support of all of the political and business leaders who worked with us to make this day possible. That support is an important part of the reason why Memphis has developed into one of the most strategic transportation hubs in the Southeastern U.S.,” said John Lanigan, BNSF executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “BNSF’s significant investment in this new facility will not only make this one of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly intermodal facilities in the country, it will also help improve Memphis’s position in the global supply chain by offering our customers more capacity and service options.”