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SAVANNAH: March 27, 2018. The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has begun construction of its US$126.7 million Mason Mega Rail Terminal that will increase the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to one million containers per year.

MASON MEGA RAILWhen complete by 2020, Savannah’s Garden City Terminal will have a total of 180,000 feet of rail, 18 working tracks and the capability of building 10,000-foot unit trains. GPA estimates it will take more than 200,000 trucks off the road annually.

“This project is a game changer,” said GPA Board chairman Jimmy Allgood. “Our team estimates the Mason Mega Rail Terminal will slash rail time to the Midwest by a good 24 hours, and present a viable new option for many manufacturers, shippers and logistics professionals.”

To serve the expanded rail yard, the GPA is also ordering eight rail-mounted gantry cranes that will span nine tracks to improve the movement of containers from trains to on-terminal jockey trucks.

“The Port of Savannah has the cargo capacity to quickly load unit trains for expedited service to inland population centers,” said GPA executive director Griff Lynch. “Over the past year alone, our average container moves per vessel has increased by 15 percent, and exchanges of 5,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units are now common.”

The new rail infrastructure is part of an expansion plan that includes the harbor deepening, the single largest ship-to-shore crane fleet in North America, 60 additional yard cranes and expanding truck gates. The Garden City Terminal currently handles 38 trains a week.

“Today is a great day for Georgia and the nation,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Not only will this new intermodal facility take trucks off the road and bring our products to market with greater efficiency, but it will open a new corridor for American commerce to and from the Midwest.”

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