California Restores Rail Rebuilding Funds

The money will be used by the Orange North-American Trade Rail Access Corridor (OnTrac) for scheduled rebuilding projects and to finish major projects. A critical link in Southern California’s rail infrastructure, OnTrac is similar to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority. Formed in April 2000, OnTrac focuses on a five-mile long railroad corridor that will grade separate 11 rail crossings in the Orange County cities of Anaheim and Placentia. OnTrac CEO, Christopher Becker notes that, “every state in the nation gets containers moved through either Long Beach or Los Angeles, so there is the need to ensure that the nation’s transportation infrastructure, especially in Southern California, can keep pace with expected growth.

Pointing out that international trade activities in the district will grow to record levels this year, Jack Kyser, Chief Economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Council says that “value of two-way trade should increase by 11.6% to $262.3 billion, while the total number of containers handled at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles should hit 13.1 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units).” With projections that rail capacity will max out by late 2006, the funding seems a realistic step in helping to ease the situation.

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