From 2014 to 2020, Binnie (Omni Engineering) was engaged by Global Container Terminals Canada (GCT) to provide engineering and construction support services from project inception to completion.
In order to help meet projected rail capacity requirements, GCT Canada was required to expand the existing Deltaport Intermodal Yard (Deltaport IY). The rail yard expansion was the second stage of the Deltaport Terminal, Road, and Rail Improvement Project (DTRRIP), Port Metro Vancouver’s (PMV) cost-efficient, multi-phased expansion.
The project’s construction was performed while maintaining rail operations in the existing rail yard. This was a challenge since Deltaport generally operates close to maximum rail capacity. A significant amount of construction sequencing planning was performed; determining additional temporary tracks needed to be constructed to maintain an equal amount of track length during demolition. The project was constructed in sixteen stages to allow the existing intermodal yard to be reduced in length, the entire construction of the intermodal yard at the south of the terminal to allow for new cantilever RMGs to be erected and commissioned, and then have incremental removal and construction of re-aligned rail track.
The multidisciplinary project included:
- Reconfiguring the terminal rail yard.
- Constructing a new Rail Maintenance Facility for tractor-trailers.
- Civil and electrical upgrades to the site.
The reconfiguration of the terminal rail yard included:
- removal of eight existing intermodal rail tracks and the installation of seven permanent new rail tracks. Two temporary rail tracks were constructed in addition to the permanent tracks for use during construction and then removed.
- removal of existing gantry crane rails, crane rail foundations, underground electrical service vaults and seven existing, electric, manually operated rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes
- installation of new crane rails, crane rail foundations, underground electrical RMG service pits and electrical unit substations, and eight new, semi-automated electric cantilevered RMG’s
- construction of a container transfer staging area for container chassis staging along the length of the working track within the reconfigured intermodal yard
- installation of Optical Card Readers (OCR), one for a new truck portal for container identification when entering the intermodal yard and multiple OCR rail portals for identification of rail cars arriving at the facility
- replacement of existing site lighting within the intermodal yard with energy-efficient LED light fixtures. Two existing high mast light poles were relocated, and four existing low mast light poles were replaced with high mast poles.
- modifications to existing water, sewer, stormwater, and electrical underground infrastructure within the terminal.
- electrical system upgrades including a new 12.5KV transformer, transformer yard upgrades, new MCCs and medium voltage switchgear within the existing Substation, arc flash studies, medium and low voltage power distribution, RMG Unit Substations, the electrical houses made from modified containers, vehicle and rail access and intercom systems.
- installation of a new modular building lunchroom and pre-packaged sewage pump station.
- regarding of site surfaces and installation of new hot mix asphaltic concrete pavement.
- reconfiguration of road access within, and around, the terminal, including access to the intermodal yard, the new rail maintenance facility, the terminal main gate and parking lot, and POD3 Outgate.
The construction of the new Rail Maintenance Facility included:
- construction of a new 4000 m² rail maintenance building on the west side of terminal POD 3 with unsecured vehicle parking spaces.
- modification to site security perimeter fencing.
- modifications to existing water, stormwater, and underground electrical infrastructure.
- installation of a unit substation to support the new facility.
- installation of a prefabricated fibreglass sewage pump station and force main.
- construction of an equipment Wash pad, oil-water separation system, oil collection system with waste oil tank, and pressure wash system housed in a modified container.
The existing operation included two separately operating rail intermodal yards with rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes, which were supplied by rail tracks at the north end of their associated yards. During shunting operations of the rails, tractor-trailers (TTs) would become stuck and unable to leave the yard, essentially increasing container movements and reducing throughput.
The re-design of the yard optimized the terminals rail yard design by relocating tracks to a single intermodal arrangement with cantilevered RMGs and allowing free flow of TTsand cargo; effectively reducing TT travel time and increasing container capacity and throughput.
The project increased rail capacity by 33 percent.
By reducing container dwell time on site, the local and global Asian Pacific trade economy will benefit from the additional capacity, which equates to transporting more goods and products resulting in higher profits. The Port of Vancouver and other federal initiatives will also reap the financial benefits of additional capacity, with the increased profit from a higher threshold of containers.
Staff such as city truck drivers moving containers, the local businesses that either receive or export materials and/or goods, the rail workers who move cargo on the railways to and from the terminals, and terminal employees benefit from the industry’s movement of trade goods.
Upgrades were performed within the existing terminal footprint, meaning there was no additional land creation that would affect the surrounding marine environment.
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