New Orleans is the only U.S. city where deep-draft shipping aligns with the rail gateway to make a truly intermodal freight source.
New Orleans is the only seaport in the United States served by six Class I railroads. These railroads are connected by the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Corporation (NOPB):
New Orleans Public Belt Railroad — Advantages of Synergy
New Orleans Public Belt (NOPB) is a Class III switching railroad with the primary mission of serving the Port of New Orleans, our Class I rail partners and local industries. Effective February 2018, NOPB became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Port of New Orleans. Ownership of the NOPB short line railroad gives Port NOLA a significant competitive advantage, providing stability and true logistics integration for our Class I rail partners and shippers.
By car volume, NOPB is the nation’s fourth-largest rail gateway with 26 miles of mainline track and 75 miles of total track.
When NOPB began operating in 1908, the founding principle was to establish an independent entity to assure neutral pricing and competitive switching service to Port facilities, customers and industries.
Port NOLA’s Board of Commissioners, who are appointed by the governor of Louisiana, also serve as the Board of Directors for the Public Belt. This ensures practical governance and so decisions are made in the best interest of both entities and the greater regional transportation network.
The Public Belt under Port NOLA is now able to plan synergistically and strategically for future investments and expansion, further strengthening the New Orleans Gateway.