Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Midway's Inland Port

I'm a sucker for train whistles. I've also been mocked in my professional life for my interest in freight and how to move and store goods efficiently. So it's a sort of funny coincidence that my neighborhood is home to one of the larger urban intermodal (i.e. mix of trains and trucks=2 different "modes") terminals in the area. The Burlington Northern Sante Fe Intermodal Terminal is a 50-acre site, nestled right alongside of the Pierce Butler Route near Fairview Avenue. There are several train tracks that carry freight trains with scores of shipping containers that have Chinese characters and names imprinted on them. At the the terminal, some of the shipping containers are off-loaded and put onto trucks for local distribution. The others stay on the trains going to who knows where.

I love the mystery about the whole thing. Where did these containers originate? What's in them? Where are they going? I also love the fact that this port-like facility is chock full of shipping containers with no water in sight. You sure don't expect to see it where it is. I'm not blind to the fact that this can also be a nuisance to nearby residences, but I'm happy to see our city, that isn't on a coast, play a part in the global movement of goods.

Image: TwinCitiesRailFan.com.

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