CTA Intermodal Terminals Database

The Intermodal Terminals Database (CTA data system MO) is a list of 3100 important transload facilities in the U.S. where freight shipments may be transferred between surface modes. It was compiled by David Middendorf in 1998 under the sponsorship of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and since that time has only been augmented with new rail-truck TOFC/COFC and auto ramp terminals and to reflect post-Conrail railroad ownership.

By "terminal" is meant a specific facility or site with a single operator, and not an entire port complex, which typically contains several facilities with specialized equipment for transloading different types of cargoes. In general, this terminals set excludes warehouses where goods are stored for a period pending selection of an ultimate destination, even though the warehouse may act as the shipper's consignment agent rather than as receiver of the goods. Also excluded are truck-to-air terminals operated by air freight carriers at airports and truck-to-truck terminals where packages are transferred between local delivery services and line-haul trucks.

Terminals in the Jacksonville area superimposed on the intermodal network CK.

The location of each terminal is idealized as a point in the interior of the facility with longitude/latitude coordinates in decimal degrees, datum NAD27. Within the limits of subjective placement, it may be considered to have 100 m geographic accuracy, though many of the terminals represented have docks longer than 100 m, not to mention areal extent.

The formal database is a single ASCII file in Oak Ridge native format, mo43.lmr, which contains a record for each facility and sub-records describing the types of transfers that occur there by cargo type, modes connected, and rail carriers. The fixed format structure of data in the file is explained in notes at the beginning of the file. (Those notes alone may be viewed here at MOnotes.txt.)

All serious users should consult the database documentation which explains the logical structure, coverage, attribute codes, and sources.

An easier-to-use derivative version of the database is also available in ESRI shapefile format. Users are cautioned, however, that it somewhat simplifies the data content of the native format file. The reformat program RHA available in the highway section will also support this data system "M" format.


View documentation: "Intermodal Terminals Database" (HTML file)

Download CTA Terminals  
     Native format    mo43.lmr  (Compressed ASCII 126 KB) download
     Shapefile format   Point cover moun (Compressed binary 113 KB) download


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