PHL | Superior service to the West Coast for two decades

Organized in 1989 by Anacostia Rail Holdings (ARH), PHL was created to provide railroad switching, track maintenance, and dispatching services to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The combined volume of these side-by-side ports represents more than 45 percent of all containerized U.S. cargo.

We serve nine on-dock intermodal terminals and dispatch upwards of 140 intermodal or unit trains daily. In addition, PHL handles more than 35,000 freight carloads annually. All told, we operate and dispatch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, within this very strategic network that consists of 19 route miles servicing customers at both ports.

Much has changed in the past 20 years, but one thing hasn’t. We are dedicated to providing neutral service to all our partners, including the two ports, two Class I railroads (BNSF and Union Pacific), nine intermodal terminals, and numerous carload customers.

PHL President Otis Cliatt II notes the strategic role PHL plays in supporting the ports’ preeminence among U.S. Ports. He has been proud to lead the company for eight years, saying it is “an honor and a privilege. Team PHL has improved in three major areas: safety, service and technology.”

PHL has won many accolades. In 2009, it was named Short Line Railroad of the Year by Railway Age magazine. And in 2013, the California Employer Advisory Council named the railroad Veterans Employer of the Year. We are proud to have been the first U.S. railroad to operate a locomotive fleet of entirely Tier 3 diesels, and we recently demonstrated a 2,000-hp road-switcher built to the EPA’s more stringent Tier 4 standards.

ARH President and CEO Peter Gilbertson noted the strategic role PHL plays in supporting the preeminence of Los Angeles and Long Beach among U.S. ports. “PHL has developed an international reputation as the leading port rail operator,” he said. “We look forward to working with our employees and stakeholders to continue to improve.

PHL train
PHL turned 20 last year and we couldn’t be prouder of that accomplishment. This private special passenger train took guests on a tour of both ports.