The Alameda Corridor was created with public safety as a priority for our communities. Before the Corridor was built, the Southern Pacific Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF (Santa Fe) Railway each had separate routes to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Each route had a number of old tracks at surface level with over 200 at-grade crossings causing safety risks and delays to public vehicles and pedestrians. When trains traveled along these routes, traffic would be disrupted by very long trains that lumbered through the communities every day, creating long lasting traffic delays and increasing pollution levels for the area. The Alameda Corridor consolidated all of the train tracks into a single corridor and lowered them 35 feet below ground into a ten-mile-long trench, thereby removing over 200 at-grade crossings.
The entire design and operation of the Corridor consisted of benefits to public safety by:
- Eliminating train traffic on two of the three rail routes;
- Improving noise and aesthetics by lowering the remaining rail route into a trench;
- Improve safety and eliminate vehicle waiting time caused by trains by removing over 200 at-grade crossings;
- Constructed 32 new strategically placed bridges to carry traffic across tracks; and
- Increased train speeds from 15 mph to 40 mph, allowing for more goods in and out of the Ports with greater efficiency and lower pollution output.
Today, the average train length in the Corridor Trench is two miles long with the longest trains exceeding three miles in length. Alameda Corridor’s efficiency in moving trains and the goods they carry has eliminated over 877,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 9,100 tons of other pollutants to date. These benefits are accrued through improved train routes, improved train speeds, and eliminated vehicle idling at crossings. The benefits are significantly greater when we considered the reduction of trucks on local roadways and regional freeways due to efficient transport of cargo by rail.
In addition to all of the features that have been designed in the Corridor, ACTA works diligently to maintain a clean and secure right-of-way for the health and safety of the adjacent communities. ACTA has emergency response systems in place with the railroads, ports and first responders to ensure proper response to events that may occur. ACTA holds an annual on-site Real-Time Emergency Drill for our first responders to ensure that our fire and police partners are familiar with all the safety features in the Corridor and know how to operate them.