Construction Management

Pasadena, Texas


Pasadena Rail Facility
Pasadena, Texas

LJA Rail provided design and construction management services to this fast-track project. The design and construction parameters established for the Pasadena Rail facility focused on rail operating efficiencies, safety, minimal maintenance costs and maximum lifecycle for the facility. The design maximized land use to accommodate storage of as many rail cars as possible. The Phase I portion of the yard consists of 60 storage tracks, with a storage capacity of 440 rail cars. The key to maximum lifecycle and low maintenance costs for a rail yard constructed on a clay substrata is good drainage. The Pasadena Rail facility boasts a state of the art drainage system with over 290 drain inlets feeding into an efficient underground pipe system. The drainage system incorporates a 14 acre feet retention pond designed to meet the drainage discharge requirements of the facility as well as serving as a spill containment pond.

The stabilization of the subgrade was accomplished using proven compaction methods, lime stabilization, and moisture control. Engineering fabric integrated with quality subbase material provides the foundation for the Pasadena Rail facility. The track configuration for the facility was designed and constructed with minimal track curvature, so as to prevent track and equipment wear, which leads to increased or unnecessary maintenance costs.

Industry preferred 136# continuous welded rail was used throughout the yard. Premium head hardened rail was utilized on leads and all turnouts. Very few thermite welds were used in the yard (90% less than comparable yards). These features of design and construction will also minimize long term maintenance costs. The steel crossties that were used are superior to wood crossties through increased life cycle. In addition, they allow for a smaller ballast section, thereby reducing construction and maintenance costs. Steel ties also maintain consistent rail gauge much better than wood crossties. This also reduces long-term maintenance costs and derailments resulting from wide rail gauge. All turnouts are welded premium rail, steel tie turnouts, with point protectors and variable switch stands. All ballast meets or exceeds AREMA specifications for granite ballast. Granite ballast provides the long lasting superior wear characteristics necessary for 30 year plus service life.

A modular support building was placed on the site to accommodate administrative personnel and switching crews. The building meets city and International Building Code requirements, including ADA and 140 MPH wind loading. Lighting, perimeter fences and a video security monitoring system will help protect against trespass, vandalism and theft. Lighting also aids switch crews, should night switching be required.