Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MidAmerica Corridor under way

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The MidAmerica Corridor, a new trackage rights agreement between CN and Norfolk Southern, is designed to establish shorter, faster routes for merchandise and coal traffic moving between the Midwest and Southeast.

CN and NS will share track between Chicago, cn-ns-map-en.jpgSt. Louis, Kentucky, and Mississippi. The agreement also includes the Fulton-Corinth, Tenn., short line West Tennessee Railroad, which will be upgraded to handle heavier railcars and additional traffic. It is expected to be finalized within the next few months and presented to the Surface Transportation Board for approval.

The MidAmerica Corridor will have three components: NS will haul CN freight between Chicago and St. Louis, reducing the distance between these points for CN shipments by 60 miles and providing improved connections to other rail carriers through the St. Louis gateway. NS will use CN routes between St. Louis and Fulton, Ky., as part of a new, more efficient route from the Midwest to the Southeast, saving more than 50 miles on NS shipments. CN will haul NS freight between Chicago and Fulton, shortening NS’s Chicago-Birmingham route by almost 100 miles. CN and NS also plan to create a new coal gateway at Corinth, Miss., to better link NS-served southeastern utility plants with CN-served Illinois Basin coal producers.

“This innovative track-sharing arrangement will expedite our customers’ shipments, improve asset utilization, and generate new efficiencies for both CN and NS,” CN President and CEO E. Hunter Harrison said.

NS Chairman, President, and CEO Wick Moorman called the MidAmerica Corridor “an important partnership that will create better routes for shippers on both railroads. On the Norfolk Southern system, it will help level demand on our busy north-south routes, while improving service and velocity for many more customers.”