Chemical shippers win conditional approval to build new rail line near Houston, Texas
Oct 1, 2002 12:00 PM
Four chemical shippers and the San Jacinto Rail Ltd, a subsidiary of Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co (BNSF), have been granted conditional permission to construct a 12.8-mile railroad line near Houston TX, according to information from the Surface Transportation Board (STB). The board said that no construction could begin until an environmental process is complete and the agency issues a further decision assessing potential environmental impacts of the proposal.
Chemical companies involved in the project include Basell Impact Holding Co, Bay Junction Inc, Equistar Bayport LLC, and Lyondell Bayport LLC. Initially, BNSF would provide service to the four core producers, but it plans to offer service to all shippers in the Bayport Loop and adjoining areas upon request. BNSF will provide service over the line. It will run between the Bayport Industrial District (Bayport Loop) in southeast Houston and a connection with the former Galveston, Henderson, and Houston Railroad line now owned by Union Pacific Railroad Co. The new line would allow BNSF to serve certain chemical manufacturing facilities in the Bayport Loop.
Each of the chemical producers submitted a statement supporting the proposal and explaining the importance of the new line to their business' success, according to STB. In addition, BNSF told the board the new line would increase availability of efficient, reliable, and competitive rail service to area shippers, increase rail capacity and infrastructure in the Houston area, increase shippers' access to BNSF's single-line service, provide an alternate route during service disruptions, and extend BNSF's access to petrochemical and plastics facilities on the Gulf Coast.
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