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California Officials Propose Rail Link Between Ports of Oakland, Stockton

November 6, 2000

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Truckers trying to get through the Port of Oakland in California regularly experience long waits to pick up or drop off shipping containers, but a proposal from transportation officials could help alleviate the situation.

According to the Record, a new proposal is being explored to move containers via rail between Oakland, the nation’s fourth-busiest container port, and the Port of Stockton, where the cargoes could then be transferred to trucks.
“It eliminates that Bay Area commute with the containers coming back over this way,” Independent trucker Doug Hof told the paper. “It's a super idea as far as I'm concerned.”
“You're going to get that freight that is destined for the Valley and up to the north,” agreed Ron Coale, Stockton-based government consultant for the California Trucking Association, chairman of the association's Intermodal Conference, and member of the Stockton Port Commission.
The proposal will also help relieve traffic congestion on the Altamont Pass and pollution caused by that traffic, said Coale, who first posed the idea and set up the first meeting in July between Stockton and Oakland port officials.
Coale said he’s thought about establishing such a “land bridge, ship to rail to truck” for some time, but waited until the Port of Stockton gained control this summer of the 1,400-acre Rough and Ready Island, a former Navy base with 40 miles of railroad, including a switching yard.
“It just makes so much sense to get these containers off the highway and it makes so much sense for the truckers up here,” he said. “We can get (cargo containers) off faster and quicker and, we have yet to do the figures but I'm sure, cheaper than they can in the Bay."

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