Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NS plans yard expansion in Ohio

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

Norfolk Southern announced that it will begin a $160 million expansion of its Bellevue rail yard in northern Ohio this month, doubling the yard's capacity.

"Bellevue is already an important terminal for the classification and movement of freight, and this investment will expand and modernize Bellevue, contributing to the fluid movement of long-distance freight across our rail system," said Mark Manion, Norfolk Southern's chief operating officer. "This project will help us improve asset utilization and efficiency, enhance customer service, strengthen our entire 22-state system, and further confirm Ohio's importance to freight rail transportation."

Key elements of the project include 38 new classification tracks, bringing the total to 80; 38.5 miles of new rail, which will allow NS to increase the number of cars classified from about 1,800 to as many as 3,600 a day; five miles of underground cable for communication and signal systems;140 new automated switches to direct train traffic to the proper tracks;11 upgraded control points; and signals that will make train access to the Bellevue facility more efficient.

Bellevue is one of 12 NS classification facilities, where freight cars are collected and sorted for their final destinations. When completed in 2015, Bellevue will be the largest classification yard on the NS system.