Chemical shippers win conditional approval for new Houston rail line
Aug 29, 2002 12:00 PM
Four chemical shippers and the San Jacinto Rail Limited, a subsidiary of Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF), have been granted conditional permission to construct a 12.8-mile railroad line near Houston TX, according to information from the Surface Transportation (STB) board. The board stressed that no construction could begin until an environmental process is complete and the agency issues a further decision assessing the potential environmental impacts of the proposal.
The chemical companies involved in the project include Basell Impact Holding Company, Bay Junction Inc, Equistar Bayport LLC, and Lyondell Bayport LLC. BNSF would initially provide service to the four core producers, but it plans to offer service to all shippers located 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, near Galveston Bay, and a connection with the former Galveston, Henderson, and Houston Railroad line now owned by Union Pacific Railroad Company. The new line would allow BNSF to serve certain chemical manufacturing facilities in the Bayport Loop.
Each of the chemical producers submitted a statement in support of the proposal explaining the importance of the new line to their business’ success, according to STB information. In addition, BNSF told the board that the new line would increase the 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.