BNSF Railway recently completed construction of a third main rail line through Cajon Pass in Southern California that will increase capacity on BNSF’s Chicago to Los Angeles Transcontinental (Transcon) route from 100 to 150 trains a day. The $90 million project adds almost 16 miles of third main track to BNSF’s route into the Los Angeles Basin.
|BNSF operated its first train on the third and final segment of the Cajon Pass triple-tracking project on 3 November. Click to enlarge.
Cajon Pass is located between the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountain ranges, just north of the City of San Bernardino. Approximately 75 to 100 freight and passenger trains currently traverse this route on a daily basis. Each intermodal train on these tracks can take more than 250 long-haul trucks off of the region’s local highways. Additionally, freight trains are more fuel-efficient than trucks and can move one ton of freight more than 400 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel.
Over the last four years, more than 300 BNSF employees and contractors worked on the Cajon Pass project. In that time, crews moved more than 1 million tons of earth, placed approximately 42,000 concrete railroad ties, and laid more than 30 miles of steel rail. The construction of this track represents the first additional BNSF main track through Cajon Pass since the second line was constructed in 1913, nearly 100 years ago.
BNSF and UP railroads each have major rail corridors into the Los Angeles Basin. Forecasted combined daily traffic volume for the east/west rail corridors is 390 trains by 2025.