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Port of Long Beach Tour Train 10/20/2012



by Chris Guenzler



I contacted the Port of Long Beach about riding their train and after a few phone calls and E mails I was sent a ticket for the first train on Saturday October 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM. I worked my subbing job at Adams Elementary School and on Wednesday took Amtrak 580 to San Diego. There I saw Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull plays both Thick as a Brick 1 and Thick as a Brick 2 plus Locomotive Breath before I spent the night in San Diego. Early on Thursday morning I took Surfliner 763 back home to Santa Ana and then worked my last two days of the week. Saturday morning bought us mist and light showers as I drove to the Port of Long Beach and parked in the lot for our train passengers to use to park in. I was the first person there so I started to follow the signs.





The flags of the Port of Long Beach.





All Aboard Rail Tour Boarding.





Did You Know...The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are the largest seaports in the United States. Combined, they are the sixth largest seaport complex in the world, behind facilities in Singapore, Chinese and Korean Ports.





Did You Know... The average number of birds at the harbor has more than doubled since the 1970's thanks to the Port's environmental efforts. Biological surveys have also shown improvements in the diversity of fish species in harbor waters.





Job Creation: The Port is planning to spend more than $3 billion in the next decade to modernize its facilities. In addition to generating thousands of temporary construction jobs, these projects are expected to create more than 50,000 new permanent jobs in the region.





Did You Know...The Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles moves nearly 40 percent of all containerized waterborn imports coming into the United States.





Cranes: The Port's gantry cranes serve as giant mechanical hands and arms that lift cargo containers on and off ships. A skilled crane operator can move a container on and off a ship in less than three minutes.





Did You Know...The Port of Long Beach produces a monthly cable television program, "Pulse of the Port" which airs regularly on Long Beach Television 8. The program is available on the YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/portoflongbeach, and reaches more than 1 million households throughout California through syndication.





Did You Know... Port Security is handled by multiple state, federal and local agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs, Homeland Security, Long Beach Police and Long Beach Harbor Patrol.





Did You Know... The Port of Long Beach supports 30,000 jobs in Long Beach and 316,000 jobs in the Southern California region. About 1.4 million jobs throughout the U.S. are related to Long Beach generated trade.





Containers: The Port of Long Beach has seven container shipping facilities, which together move from 5 to 6 million container units a year. Containers are used to ship all type of consumer goods, as well as food and agricultural products.





Did You Know... The Port's high-tech air monitoring system tracks and reports air quality and weather conditions 24 hours a day at www.polb.com.





Green Flag Program: The Port's EPA award-winning Green Flag Program rewards ships that slow down to improve air quality. The program has reduced air pollutions by hundreds of tons a year since it was introduced in 2006.





Did You Know... The Port of Long Beach business activity provides more than $5 billion in tax revenue contributions a year and more than $47 billion in direct and indirect business sales yearly.





Did You Know... Just one of the Port's largest cargo container ships could carry enough shoes to supply one pair each to nearly the entire population of California {31 million}.





Bulk Cargo: The Port handles a significant amount of "bulk cargo", such as petroleum products, chemicals, lumber, steel, and automobiles that cannot be stored in containers. Bulk cargo is generally carried in the hull of a ship or on the deck of a barge.





Did You Know... A single cargo container ship carries enough products to fill an entire shopping mall with clothing, shoes, toys and hand-bags stacked eight-feet high and wall to wall.





Did You Know... The Port uses no tax revenue to operate. The Port receives its income from customer leases and invests the majority back into Port operations and development.





Yard Hostlers: The diesel trucks used to move cargo containers within a shipping facility are known as "yard hostlers." Green Port programs have cut pollution from yard hostlers by more than half in recent years, and the Port is now testing hybrid yard hostlers as part of its Technology Advancement Program.





Job Creation: The Port is planning to spend more that $4.5 billion in the next decade to modernize its facilities. In addition to generating thousands of temporary construction jobs, these projects are expected to create more that 50,000 new permanent jobs in the region.





Pacific Harbor Lines {PHL}: Has replaced its entire fleet of locomotives in 2007 with 16 low-emision locomotives equipped with cleaner engines, the first of their type built in the United States. PHL., which moves trains within the port, completed a second major locomotive upgraded in 2011, resulting in the entire fleet being rated at U.S. E.P.A. Tier 3 performance for even better air quality.





ITS Redevelopment: the International Transportation Services {ITS} container shipping terminal at Pier G is undergoing a $980 million redevelopment to become greener and more efficient. ITS occupies about 240 acres of land - an area big enough to fit almost 300 football fields.





Pier G: Giant blue A-frame sheds at Pier G store a product called petroleum coke, a by product of gasoline refining, before it is exported. Petroleum coke is a fine dust, so housing it in covered sheds {and enclosing the conveyor belts used for loading ships} helps protect the environment.





This is where you get in line to board the train.





History of Rail at the Port of Long Beach.





On Track for Tomorrow: Much of the cross-country cargo will be loaded onto trains at one of the biggest and most efficient rail yards. The yard will feature 12 tracks and five rail-mounted cranes - the first at the Port. The electric-powered rail-mounted cranes will be faster and have greater lifting capacity than current cranes.





Across the Sea to Your Home.





I was the first person to board the Port of Long Beach Train Tour. The train had a consist of Metrolink Engine 902. Cab Car 694, Coaches 208 and 112, Bike Car 198, Coach 201 and Cab Car 647.





Metrolink's newest Bike Car 198. I boarded the train and took a seat at a table in the Coach 112. I was joined by a couple from Long Beach.





Views of Pier G in Long Beach Harbor before we left after I had called Lets Talk Trains.





The Port of Long Beach Office Building. At 10:05 AM the train started moving south to start our trip.





Stack train cars were outside of my window as we started this unique trip.





The reach of the Southeast Basin of Long Beach Harbor between Pier G on the right and Pier J on the left.







Pier J is run by the International Transportation Service.





They use trackmoblies to move their stack cars around.





The International Transportation Service Building.





Another view of Pier J.





View looking towards Belmont Shore across the arm of the Pacific Ocean.





More views of Pier J.





This is as far south that we came on our trip.





Building F of Cosco.





Two more views of Pier J.





Building F of Cosco. After the engineer switched ends and prizes were given away we then begin to trip north to the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility or ICTF.





A view of the Queen Mary to the east.





The giant blue A-frame sheds at Pier G store a product called petroleum coke.





The end of the container yard on Pier G.





The giant blue A-frame sheds at Pier G store a product called petroleum coke.





Another of the Gantry Crane.





There are oil wells still pumping oil out of the ground at Long Beach Harbor.





PHL Locomotive 72 working at Pier F.





The first view of the Gerald Howard Bridge. This bridge has about 15 percent of all the cargo containers that come into the country travels over that bridge. But the structure was not designed to handle today's traffic volume. The new replacement bridge will be taller, wider and safer and it will include a bicycle and pedestrian pathway.





More bulk cargo unloading facilities.





PHL Locomotive 72 working at Pier F.





Three views of the Gerald Howard Bridge.





A lone steel coil car.





More Gantry Cranes.





Views of the north side of the Gerald Howard Bridge will be had for the next few minutes.





Channel 3 with Pier D the oldest in the Long Beach Harbor to the left and Pier C to the right behind the blue building.





Gantry Cranes on Pier C.





Pier Yard will be rebuilt under the Green Port Gateway.





Another view of the Gerald Howard Bridge.





We are going by Pier B.





Another view of the Gerald Howard Bridge.





The Toyota Facility at Long Beach Harbor.





Two more views of Pier B.





Looking towards Pier A.





The Union Pacific Mead Yard at Long Beach Harbor.





Tank farm and another A-frame sheds at Pier A.





One last view of the Gerald Howard Bridge.





Tanks at Pier A.





BNSF power heading to Watson Yard.





Piled sulphur is stored ready for loading.





Stacks of containers.





Petroleum Plant.





Looking southwest towards San Pedro.





Container trailers.





These containers are called Reefers.





Another of those A-frame sheds at Pier A.





Tank Farms.





An oil refinery.





The yard tower at the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility.





Oil refinery behind the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility.





One more view of the yard tower at the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility.





The very nice Welcome to Long Beach Harbor Pamphlet with our train route highlighted. This was our northern turnback location. After more questions and prizes were past out and our engineer switched end we headed back to our boarding location.





Stacks of containers on the return trip. We returned to our boarding location. I thanked everyone for an excellent trip by the Port of Long Beach and Metrolink, I drove home to Santa Ana and worked on this story before I drove to Norwalk then took the Green Line and the Blue Line back to Long Beach to see Ian Anderson there tonight with my friend Brad. After the show, Brad drove me back to Norwalk and I drove home ending a fantastic day.



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