BNSF Railway Company announced that it has added capacity and has the potential to reduce emissions at its Seattle International Gateway (SIG) intermodal facility through the use of four wide-span, electric, rail-mounted gantry cranes. BNSF is the first railroad in North America to install these cranes, which not only produce zero emissions on site, but allow more flexibility, increase capacity and reduce the need for diesel trucks to move containers within the facility.

“The installation of these wide-span cranes has nearly doubled the capacity at our SIG facility, and reduces our impact on the environment while supporting the growth of international commerce at the Port of Seattle,” said Mike Burke, assistant vice president, BNSF Intermodal Hub Operations.

These cranes are significantly wider than the traditional cranes used at intermodal facilities, spanning three tracks, and have the capability to stack containers and load and unload trucks and railcars. Along with providing additional capacity, these cranes have increased throughput by about 30 percent at BNSF’s SIG facility.

Additionally, these cranes produce zero emissions on site, are quieter, and have the ability to regenerate power each time they lower a load. The wide stance design of these new cranes also reduces truck moves within the intermodal facility, reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency.

“The North Seattle International Gateway yard is an impressive facility and it represents the type of development that we and our partners are pursuing to increase our overall competitiveness at the Port of Seattle,” said Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton. “BNSF is increasing capacity for cargo, assisting the Port in creating economic development for the region. By replacing diesel equipment with new electric cranes, it has done so in a way that is friendly to the environment, which is equally important as we pursue our goal of being the cleanest, greenest, most energy efficient port in the US.”