Recent New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Wins Strengthen the Port NOLA Gateway

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The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad continues to make strides as a thriving rail service with recent milestones and expansion efforts resulting in significant improvements in output, safety and capacity.

When NOPB and the Port of New Orleans became aligned in 2018, the New Orleans freight gateway gained significant competitive advantage as the two entities began to operate and plan synergistically. Last year, the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad became an independent political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, while remaining strategically aligned with Port NOLA and yielding true logistics integration for Class I rail partners and shippers.

In 2020, NOPB increased its average monthly storage volumes by 300 cars and further reduced its already impressive dwell time. In 2019, NOPB reduced dwell time from an average 19 hours to 14 hours, and in 2020, further reduced it to an average 11 hours, significantly better than the 24 hour industry standard. In addition to maintaining and increasing output, NOPB moved forward with planned investments and expansion projects to further strengthen the New Orleans freight gateway.

At the end of last year, NOPB began installing remote-controlled solar power switches for the Cotton Warehouse Yard, which is the main classification yard.

Additionally, NOPB added storage capacity with the completion of the new Kingfish Yard, which can accommodate an additional 205 storage cars with five new tracks. Check out this video on the expanded yard here. NOPB is also expanding a yard at France Road to accommodate an additional 240 storage cars with space for trans-loading.

These projects are huge wins for NOPB and present new opportunity for business development by keeping storage cars out of the main classification yards to provide more switching capacity.

“Increasing the capacity of NOPB will benefit the Port of New Orleans, its Class I railroad partners, and the local customers,” said M.D. “Mike” Stolzman, NOPB General Manager. “As NOPB looks to the future, we continue to offer a safe, efficient, competitive and environmentally sustainable rail service in the New Orleans gateway, while continuing to provide customers with a first class transportation solution.”