BNSF Train


Project Overview

BNSF Railway plans to invest more than $1.5 billion to construct a state-of-the-art master-planned rail facility in Southern California – and the first being developed by a Class 1 railroad. This facility will help reduce highway congestion, transform the regional economy, and unlock critical efficiencies to meet our nation’s supply chain demands.

Barstow Conceptual

Conceptual – Subject to Change

The Barstow International Gateway will be an approximately 4,500-acre new integrated rail facility on the west side of Barstow, consisting of a rail yard, intermodal facility and warehouses for transloading freight from international containers to domestic containers.

The facility will allow the direct transfer of containers from ships at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to trains for transport through the Alameda Corridor onto the BNSF mainline up to Barstow.

Once the containers reach the Barstow International Gateway, they will be processed at the facility using clean-energy powered cargo-handling equipment, and then staged and built into trains moving east via BNSF’s network across the nation. Westbound freight will similarly be processed at the facility to more efficiently bring trains to the ports and other California terminals.

Key Benefits

Barstow Economy


  • Brings thousands of direct and indirect jobs to High Desert communities
  • Keeps the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach competitive
  • Supports a robust, reliable, and efficient supply chain
Barstow Supply Chain

Supply Chain

  • Allow for more efficient transfer of cargo directly between ships and rail and maximize rail and distribution efficiency regionally and across the U.S. supply chain
  • Improve fluidity throughout BNSF’s rail network, moving containers off the ports quicker, and facilitating improved efficiency in operations at existing intermodal hubs, including those in the Midwest and Texas
Barstow Environment


  • Significantly reduces port and highway congestion
  • By allowing for more efficient transfer of cargo directly between ships and rail, the Barstow International Gateway will maximize rail and distribution efficiency regionally and across the U.S. supply chain and reduce truck traffic and freeway congestion in the Los Angeles Basin and the Inland Empire
Barstow Community


  • The location of the facility near primarily undeveloped land not adjacent to urbanized areas will minimize potential community impacts in Barstow
  • Moves freight off the roads and onto rails, alleviating traffic congestion on Southern California roadways and freeways and reducing the costs taxpayers incur for road maintenance

The Need

Currently, most international cargo at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach arrives in 40-foot containers that are then trucked from the ports to warehouses in Los Angeles or the Inland Empire. Once the containers arrive at the warehouses, they are unloaded, sorted, and re-loaded onto 53-foot domestic containers that are either transported by truck to a railyard in Los Angeles, where they are transferred onto trains, or are simply trucked across the country. This process creates inefficiencies and unnecessary truck trips within the Los Angeles Basin and Inland Empire that can impact supply chain distribution, the environment, and communities surrounding ports and warehouses.

The Barstow International Gateway will allow cargo to be transported by rail directly from the ports through the Alameda Corridor to Barstow and processed efficiently between the intermodal rail facility and the on-site transload warehouse facilities, without generating additional on-road truck trips. The transload warehouses will expedite repackaging and processing of goods into domestic containers for further transport via rail across the country.


Barstow FAQs

FAQs (pdf)

BNSF Employees


Every day, BNSF Railway employees in California help move the products and commodities that Americans need to live and prosper. We’re proud to be California’s freight rail partner and an important job creator in the communities we serve across our state network.






$258+ Million


Average Railroad
Salary + Compensation


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Map of BNSF in California


BNSF Railway safely and efficiently moves millions of carloads of freight through the state each year. Since 2014, we’ve invested more than $1 billion to maintain and expand our critical state network. This includes millions to maintain and upgrade our major rail yards and automotive and intermodal facilities.

Train car

Carloads Handled
in CA

3.9+ Million

Train tracks

Major CA
Rail Yards


Cargo ship

Major CA Intermodal/
Automotive Facilities


Fannie Hamb

BNSF in California

2021 Employees: 3,000+
2021 Combined Payroll: $258M
Route Miles: 913

About BNSF

BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies. BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and also operates in three Canadian provinces.

BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve.