BNSF Railway officially opens a huge new freight handling center in southern Johnson County, Kan. Thursday. The intermodal freight yard in Edgerton will be the largest in the region.
Kansas City is a major shipping hub. It’s the second largest rail hub, as measured by number of train cars, and by some measures, the third largest trucking center in the country.
All that freight flowing in and out of the Kansas City-area creates jobs for drivers, warehouse workers and others. Increasingly it comes in by train, and gets distributed from Johnson County by truck.
The transfer takes place at Intermodal freight yards, like the one opening in Edgerton. Chris Gutierrez, the president of Kansas City Smartport, says the BNSF Railroad’s new operation in Edgerton will be the biggest in the region.
“The BNSF’s commitment to do this in the Kansas City area is a game changer,” says Gutierrez. “It will substantially change the size and the volume of activity, bringing new companies and new jobs in the manufacturing-warehouse sector to Kansas City.”
It’s also going to bring a lot of extra trucks—thousands of them a day. That’s left some people living near the hub worried that the economic boost from the new freight center will come at a price to their quality of life.