Union Pacific Thursday ceremonially commenced construction of its $370 million, 785-acre Joliet Intermodal Terminal in Illinois, saying the facility “will support customer growth by increasing the railroad’s international and domestic container capacity and improving rail traffic efficiencies inChicago, the nation’s largest rail center.” UP cited the facility’s anticipated annual capacity of 500,000 international intermodal containers.
The intermodal terminal is part of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center-Joliet, a 3,900-acre logistics center, backed by $2 billion in private investment, expected to generate as many as 15,000 new jobs in the coming decade. CenterPoint’s overall layout includes 975 acres zoned for railand intermodal terminal development, 1,900 acres available for up to 20 million square feet of industrial facilities (warehouse, distribution, manufacturing, cross-dock, and transloading), and 400 acres for container/trailer and equipment management facilities. The remaining 625 acres have been reserved for stormwater and conservation purposes.
“Our new intermodal terminal demonstrates Union Pacific’s unwavering commitment to provide outstanding customer service and make additional investments in our communities. Ultimately, the impact means good paying jobs for the community, growth in the markets we serve, and an expansion of the role of rail–one of the ‘greenest’ and safest modes of freight transportation,” said UP Chairman and CEO Jim Young (pictured at left).
UP hopes to complete the initial phase of construction next June, and stresses that the site has “additional space for future expansion based on customer demand.”
Joliet Intermodal Terminal features include: four 8,000-foot tracks with capacity to handle the loading or unloading of 107 intermodal double-stack rail cars; six 8,000-foot tracks to give train crews the ability to sort rail cars by destination; an additional six tracks to stage rail cars prior to unloading or loading; four cranes,equipped with Global Positioning System technology, that straddle the rail cars and two rubber-tired mobile “packers” that lift trailers and containers on and off rail cars; more than 3,400 “staging” or parking places for trailers and containers; an advanced Yard System that coordinates all movement of rail cars, trucks, trailers and containers at the facility; AGS Gate technology that decreases truck processing time from five minutes to between 30 to 90 seconds; and a state-of-the-art security system.