Port of Virginia moves ahead with rail capacity expansion
THE Port of Virginia is expanding its double-stack, on-dock rail operation that will allow the port to handle 1.1 million containers a year via rail, reported the American Journal of Transportation.The process moved ahead after the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the project’s US$61.5 million construction bid The work will be done by Allan Myers Virginia Inc, the same company that handled the optimization projects at NIT and Virginia International Gateway (VIG). The VPA board also approved an $18 million contract with Konecranes for three cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes and their support systems. After its completion, NIT’s Central Rail Yard will accommodate 610,000 annual container lifts – the current lift capacity is 350,000 at NIT and 480,000 at VIG “In a little more than two years the Port of Virginia will be served by the deepest and widest ship channel anywhere on the US east coast,” said VPA CEO Stephen Edwards. “Pairing that channel depth with modern terminals and significant rail capacity is going to attract big ships and more cargo volume. We are going to need the rail capacity to support the additional cargo we’ll be getting from this shift of big vessels to Virginia,” said Mr Edwards. “We have a clear roadmap for investment to stay ahead of the curve. These projects will help meet the needs of our customers and the cargo owners while giving us the capacity and capability to be the premiere US east coast destination for rail cargo and big ships,” said Mr Edwards.