Union Pacific Railroad Opens New San Antonio Intermodal Terminal

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Local elected officials and community leaders joined Union Pacific Chairman and CEO Jim Young in celebrating Union Pacific’s San Antonio Intermodal Terminal opening in southwest Bexar County.

The facility represents a more than $100 million investment by Union Pacific. It provides efficient transportation that brings environmental and economic benefits to the south Texas region and will help Union Pacific better serve its customers.

“Whether coming from a West Coast Port, a Mexican maquiladora or going to an East Coast or Midwest metropolitan area, the San Antonio Intermodal Terminal gives our customers faster, more direct intermodal rail access for their domestic and international goods,” Young said. “This facility was built for the future and is designed to grow with local businesses that are keeping the south Texas economy going during these challenging times.”

The new 300-acre terminal processes containers carrying clothing, electronics and other household items that arrive at West Coast ports via ship from the Pacific Rim. Containers then are loaded onto trains headed to San Antonio’s facility. One Union Pacific double-stack intermodal train can take as many as 300 long-haul trucks off America’s congested highways while consuming less fuel and releasing fewer greenhouse gas emissions, making intermodal trains one of the most environmentally friendly modes of freight transportation.

Union Pacific can process approximately 180,000 containers per year at its San Antonio Intermodal Terminal with the added capacity and has growth potential for 250,000 containers per year. When containers reach the terminal, they are lifted off trains and transported to their final destinations on semi trucks.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and other guests observed how the San Antonio Intermodal Terminal’s advanced technology provides high security access control and keeps trucks moving. Within 30-90 seconds of arrival, the drivers’ fingerprints are processed, and the truckers receive information on their containers’ locations and destinations. Drivers find their assigned containers, located in one of 1,300 parking slots, and haul them to their final destinations. Trucks spend less time idling and release fewer emissions thanks to the facility’s technology and streamlined operations.

These efficiencies are a major contrast to the processes used prior to the opening of the San Antonio Intermodal Terminal, located at Old Pearsall Road, near Interstate 35 and Loop 410. Union Pacific operated its intermodal services out of two inner-city yards, where more than 80,000 semi trucks annually would travel to pick up or drop off containers. The lack of intermodal capacity at the inner-city yards often required trains to by-pass San Antonio and deliver them to Houston, where the containers then were trucked back to the San Antonio area.

“We are very pleased to have this modern terminal that will spur economic development and create jobs in our community,” Wolff said.

According to an economic impact analysis by Insight Research, the new facility is expected to generate $2.48 billion in cumulative economic impact for the area over a 20-year period. Union Pacific’s Intermodal terminal supports a wide range of economic activities, including transportation for national manufacturing facilities and regional distribution centers.