Georgia Ports Authority announces rail expansion
On Sept. 17, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) approved a $92 million expansion of the Mason Mega Rail Terminal at the Port of Savannah. According to a GPA press release, the project will double the Port of Savannah’s annual rail capacity to 1 million containers and deliver the largest on-terminal rail facility in North America by 2020.
The GPA moved 375,833 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) in August, an 8 percent increase over August 2017. In addition, the GPA handled 86,200 intermodal TEUs, a 33 percent jump.
“A strengthening economy and a greater reliance on GPA in major inland markets is driving growth at the Port of Savannah,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “We expect this trend to continue as more customers take advantage of Garden City Terminal’s central location and efficient terminal operations.”
For example, in August alone, rail cargo to and from Atlanta grew by 34 percent, while Nashville saw an increase of 72 percent.
The work approved by the GPA includes 124,000 feet of new track, 88 automated switches and rail control devices, as well as the rail and power infrastructure to support the operation of rail-mounted gantry cranes.
The added rail capacity will better accommodate 10,000-foot long unit trains on Garden City Terminal. These more cost-effective trains will provide faster, more frequent service over greater distances.