Construction of a new intermodal rail facility at Port Everglades is taking shape.

Construction is moving swiftly on the $53 million intermodal container transfer facility.

The Florida East Coast Railway is moving forward on the facility that will be used to transfer domestic and international shipping containers between ship and rail, according to a news release.

Construction underway at Port Everglades intermodal operationScheduled to open in mid-2014, the 42.5-acre facility is set to replace an existing offsite 12-acre intermodal yard in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Once completed, the facility should allow the railway to bring 9,000-foot unit trains within the facility and help reduce congestion on interstate highways and local roadways because loading and offloading cargo will occur within the port, according to the release.

The trains can travel to markets including Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., in two days or to Nashville, Tenn., and Memphis, Tenn., in three days, according to the release.

The railway’s connections to the CSX and Norfolk Southern railways allow for rail service to 70% of the U.S. population within four days, according to the release.

By diverting an estimated 180,000 trucks from the roads by the year 2029, officials predict the operation will help reduce emissions, according to the release.

Port officials say the rail yard will help expand port business.

“Our natural trade routes are North-South, where we are seeing tremendous growth in South America and Central America,” Steven Cernak, the port’s chief executive and port director, said in the release. “With the expansion of the Panama Canal, Port Everglades will have the potential to see the North-South trade lanes intersect with the East-West trade routes.”