Using the data obtained from the structured interviews of 33 professionals with a high level of technical knowledge specific to the subject of intermodal rail yards and their associated operations, this study addresses 10 issues that cover not only the design and layout issues within a terminal, but also broader topics such as administration/ownership, location, and other topics that may be overlooked by the designers. This is still a preliminary report, so we will only present discussion regarding some of the results that we consider to be of greatest import concerning the development of intermodal rail yards over the next decade. Based upon the level of collective expertise and insights expressed by the respondents, we feel these 10 issues, plus two which came to our attention from this study, warrant consideration in the planning for future intermodal rail yards in the Chicago region. Our key findings include that while a general level of interest for technology is high, it is unlikely that deployment of them will be fast enough to provide sufficient capacity increases to counter the expected demand growth. Also, future Intermodal yards will likely to be at least 300 acres and 7000 feet in length. Given their size, it is likely that those facilities will be located in semirural or rural areas. While there is a high level of awareness for environmental issues among freight professionals, the perception tends to focus on the direct impacts associated with the Intermodal yards, while broader implications are often unnoticed.


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