What is the ICTF?

Opened in 1986, the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) is a 277-acre, near-dock railyard located approximately 5 miles from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The facility is used as the relay point between the ports and major railyards near downtown Los Angeles for the transfer of intermodal containers. It’s operated by Union Pacific Railroad under a lease agreement with the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) involving the L.A. and Long Beach ports. Approximately 15 percent of all containers entering these ports go through the ICTF.

The Benefits of Intermodal Container Transfer

Intermodal container transfer involves the transportation of freight in large containers using multiple modes of transport – ship to truck to rail – without handling the actual cargo when changing modes.

This allows for:

  • Faster movement of freight coming into port.
  • Enhanced security.
  • Reduced freight damage and loss.
  • Greater scheduling flexibility.
  • Reduced freeway congestion.
  • Lower costs compared to "over the road" truck transport.
  • Emissions reduction in general due to fewer trucks on the road.

The Time for ICTF Modernization Has Come

Since the ICTF began operation in 1986, the demand for globally produced goods has increased dramatically. In fact, the facility will reach its capacity of 750,000 containers per year in the near future.

And, Fortunately, So Has the Technology

The development of more efficient and environmentally friendly technology has given UP the ability to increase the capacity of the ICTF while simultaneously reducing the impact on our neighbors. By investing approximately $400 million in ICTF modernization, Union Pacific will be able to meet the need for increased capacity at the facility as well as honor our corporate commitment to a greener future.

Greater Capacity. And Greener Operations.

Greater Capacity. And Greener Operations.

ICTF modernization will roughly double capacity at the facility while reducing emissions.

ICTF Site Plans

The ICTF modernization plan will actually reduce the size of the facility from 277 to 233 acres.

Current Facility

Future Facility

Genset Switcher

Genset Switcher Fast Facts

Working Cleaner, Quieter and Smarter

A new generation of ultra-low-emissions railyard locomotives, known as Genset Switchers, have replaced older, less efficient switchers. Union Pacific funded development of the Genset prototype and has acquired 61 units for use in the L.A. Basin.

This new locomotive technology is projected to reduce NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions by 85 percent and PM (Particulate Matter) by 85 percent. Genset engines are also significantly quieter than previous generation locomotives.


Clean-running electric cranes will replace diesel units.

Clean-running electric cranes will replace diesel units.

New electric-powered, wide-span cranes will also replace all diesel-powered cranes and lift equipment. The new cranes can perform 1.5 million lifts annually while producing zero emissions. This will reduce net NOx emissions by 98 percent (31.2 tons) and PM by 100 percent (1.4 tons) from 2005 levels.

Modern Gate

New gate technology cuts truck idling time and emissions.

New gate technology cuts truck idling time and emissions.

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And onsite drayage trucks will be using gates with new technology that will process trucks faster and more efficiently, from two minutes to as little as 30 seconds. This reduced idling time will cut PM emissions 63 percent from 2005 levels.

New Lighting

Redesigned lighting will reduce glare for our neighbors.

Redesigned lighting will reduce glare for our neighbors.

Reduced Light Pollution

The L.A./ Long Beach Port area has more than its share of glare. To help alleviate this problem, the proposed lighting for the modernized ICTF will reduce light-pole height from the current 80 feet to 60 and 40 feet, depending on application. Directing more light to the ground will cut glare and ambient light to surrounding areas.

ICTF Traffic Patterns

Everyone talks about L.A. traffic. We

Everyone talks about L.A. traffic. We're also doing something about it.

Less Traffic Locally and Nationwide

Trucks bringing containers from the ports will be rerouted to the new ICTF Entrance gates, creating an improved traffic flow. Alameda Street will become the main truck corridor, easing congestion on area streets.

And as ICTF capacity increases, more container freight can be moved by train, reducing reliance on over-the-road trucks. A single train can move the equivalent freight of 280 trucks.

Just How "Green" Is ICTF "Green"?

Just How "Green" Is ICTF "Green"?

In a word, "very." The following information illustrates the dramatic emission reductions achieved under the ICTF modernization plans.

Diesel Particulate Matter Emissions

DPM = Diesel Particulate Matter   TPY = Tons Per Year

Cleaner Across the Board

New Technology

  NOx1 DPM2
New Locomotive Technology 
Existing Switchers 256.1 tons per year 5.6 tons per year 
New Genset Switchers 55.8 tons per year 1.2 tons per year
Emissions Reduction 78% 79%
New Crane Technology to Lift Containers
13 Existing Diesel Fueled Lift Equipment 31.2 tons per year 1.4 tons per year
39 New Electric Wide Span Cranes 0.7 tons per year 0.0 tons per year
Emissions Reduction 98% 100%
Gate Benefits to On-site Drayage Truck Idling
Existing Diesel Trucks 51.9 tons per year 1.5 tons per year
Diesel Drays at Modernized Facility 73.9 tons per year 0.55 tons per year
Emissions Reduction NA 63%
New Technology to Eliminate Yard Trucks
73 Existing Hostlers 89.8 tons per year 3.0 tons per year
2 Alternative Fueled Hostlers 0.11 tons per year 0.0 tons per year
Emissions Reduction 99% 100%

1: NOx = Oxides of Nitrogen, 2: DPM = Diesel Particulate Matter

The More People Know, the Better for Everyone

For more information, or to arrange a presentation on ICTF modernization, please contact:

Andy Perez
Director of Port Affairs
(506) 490-7051