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Old Posted Aug 23, 2007, 5:43 AM
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SA: UP Breaks Ground on $100 Million State-of-the-Art Intermodal Terminal

Union Pacific Begins Construction of $100 Million State-of-the-Art Intermodal Terminal in Southwest Bexar County

Wednesday August 22, 11:00 am ET

New facility expected to generate $2.48 billion in cumulative economic impact over 20 years

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Union Pacific was joined by Bexar County and San Antonio leaders, as well as project partners, to celebrate the groundbreaking of a $100 million state-of-the-art intermodal terminal, which is expected to generate $2.48 billion in cumulative economic impact for the area over 20 years.

Located strategically between rail lines traveling to and from the West Coast and Mexico, the 300-acre rail port will ship and receive containers and trailers with household goods and other items supporting retailers and distribution centers, as well as auto parts for the new Toyota plant in San Antonio.

"Union Pacific is very pleased to begin work on our San Antonio Intermodal Terminal, which will provide convenience to customers, stimulate economic development and create jobs," said John Kaiser, Vice President and General Manager of Union Pacific's Intermodal Business.

According to Kaiser, the railroad's intermodal volume has experienced substantial growth in recent years, reflecting the demand for the various consumer goods, electronics, toys and clothing that are being shipped from Asia via intermodal services.

The railroad's new San Antonio Intermodal Terminal will begin processing over 100,000 trailers with future growth potential of 250,000 trailers and containers per year. Intermodal trains are an environmentally friendly option of transporting consumer goods compared to long haul trucks. Trains are three times more fuel efficient and produce one-third less emissions than trucks without the wear and tear on taxpayer financed roads and highways.

The new facility is expected to result in improved freight movement in the San Antonio area. Over 80,000 semi trucks, which currently travel annually to rail yards within the San Antonio city limits to pick up or drop off containers and trailers, will now have a convenient facility outside the busy city. The new terminal will also reduce truck traffic on Interstate 10 through San Antonio and to Houston by allowing trucks the option to drop off their containers in San Antonio instead of Houston. Due to the current lack of intermodal capacity in San Antonio, some trucks currently have to go through San Antonio to Houston to drop off their containers for trains bound for other destinations. At the same time, train traffic will be more fluid as additional rail capacity is developed in the area. Trucks and automobiles will access the terminal through a convenient entrance located at Interstate 35.

First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc., a leading provider of industrial real estate supply chain solutions, in partnership with 4M Realty, has been selected as the developer for the facility.

"First Industrial is pleased to be chosen to develop this state-of-the-art facility that expands our relationship with Union Pacific," said Terry Darrow, Senior Development Officer of First Industrial. "This new intermodal center will enhance UP's capacity to serve its customers' growing supply chain needs in the South San Antonio, Bexar County Corridor and the entire South Texas area."

Last year, Union Pacific worked closely with TxDot, the Southwest Independent School District, the San Antonio Metropolitan Planning Organization, and city and county officials to address traffic concerns related to the future facility. As a result, Union Pacific made the decision to place the access and egress points for trucks and automobiles at Interstate 35 at an additional investment of several million dollars.

This change has enhanced the viability of an adjacent business park which First Industrial is currently planning. "We believe that Union Pacific customers will find it advantageous to locate close to this state-of-the-art intermodal facility," said Darrow. "The entire development will be a huge economic engine bringing much needed jobs and commerce to the South San Antonio, Bexar County area."

When completed, the new facility will use a combination of advanced computer systems and technology to coordinate all movement of rail cars, trucks, trailers and containers. Because of this technology, a truck entering or leaving the facility will be stopped at the gate for only 30 to 45 seconds, compared to the national average of four minutes.

The terminal is being built on 300 acres within 1,500 acres acquired between Old Pearsall Road, Interstate 35, and loop 410. Union Pacific expects construction of the new facility to be completed in late 2008.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2007, 5:50 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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Can someone answer this question for me. Two other UP rail yards will be closed because of this new intermodal terminal, does anyone know which ones they are? Could it possibly be the rail yard just east downtown and north of Sunset Station.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2007, 1:56 PM
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Yes! Upgrading of our rail infrastructure. It's about time.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2007, 7:21 PM
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That's exactly what I was thinking sirkingwilliam.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2007, 9:28 PM
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I think it's the East Side yard and the SoSan yard. The SoSan yard is by Kelly (Port San Antonio) off Quintana Rd.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2007, 9:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaTexan View Post
I think it's the East Side yard and the SoSan yard. The SoSan yard is by Kelly (Port San Antonio) off Quintana Rd.
By east side yard do you mean the one right next to downtown or the one near Kirby.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2007, 9:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
By east side yard do you mean the one right next to downtown or the one near Kirby.
The one east of downtown.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2007, 2:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaTexan View Post
The one east of downtown.
Great! Does that mean freight trains will cease to go through that area. And that potentially the only rail that will move through will be Amtrak?
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Old Posted Aug 24, 2007, 2:26 AM
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When I was growing up, the sound of the trains at the east side yard were soothing... sad to see it go, and I anticipate it'll be churned and turned into some sort of mid-rise development.
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Old Posted Aug 24, 2007, 3:05 AM
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I remember back in 1996 my family and a friend and myself went down to San Antonio one very hot July day. We went to the zoo, the botanical gardens, the Alamo, the Riverwalk, the Rivercenter Mall, where I had an awesome hot dog. We also visited the Texan Institute of Cultures and Hemisphere Park. We didn't visit the tower, I think my parents balked at the price or something like that. That would have been my first trip up the tower, but I did end up going 3 or 4 years later and I try to visit it whenever I'm in town now. We also visited Sunset Station. My brother and I have always been train geeks so we wanted to go. We actually went inside the train station, (quite beautiful). I remember standing outside watching and waiting for a train, and finally a Southern Pacific freight train came through. I also remember being totally shocked and amazed by the other rail yard farther east on I-35. Kind of neat seeing how they unload cars from the trains. We live about a quarter mile from Union Pacific's tracks here in South Austin which do go down to San Antonio, so it was pretty cool to see where they come from. Trains are very soothing. In the cooler months I open my bedroom window and can easily hear them while laying in bed. We also used to have pretty good views of the tracks from our backyard across a field, though now there's a lot of bushy trees along the tracks which kind of hide the trains.
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