Thursday, November 07, 2013

Biden, Foxx visit CSX Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
From left: Oscar Munoz, Vice President Joe Biden, CSX Intermodal Terminals Inc. President Wilby Whitt, and Anthony Foxx. From left: Oscar Munoz, Vice President Joe Biden, CSX Intermodal Terminals Inc. President Wilby Whitt, and Anthony Foxx. Amy E. Voight/Toledo Blade
Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited CSX's Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal in Wood County on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. The event was Biden’s most recent stop on a tour focused on the importance of infrastructure investment following visits to the Ports of Baltimore, Savannah, and Charleston.

CSX’s Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal opened in 2011, “providing nearly 300 full-time, local jobs and spurring growth and economic opportunity by improving access to cost-effective, environmentally friendly intermodal freight rail transportation,” CSX said. CSX used its own funds to cover the entire $175 million cost of the 500-acre terminal. Bridge and tunnel work in eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia totaling was funded in part by a $98 million federal TIGER (Transportation Improvements Generating Economic Revitalization) grant as well as $180 million in state funding. The Tiger grant leveraged the state funds and CSX’s investment.

Situated on more than 500 acres in Wood County, Ohio, just one mile west of North Baltimore, the Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal serves as a freight distribution hub for the Midwest and the nation. Handling 30 trains per day and moving hundreds of thousands of containers per year, the terminal helps link East Coast seaports with points in the Midwest, such as the markets of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Louisville. CSX said the the terminal “has created new routing possibilities and growth opportunities for inland locations and allows for faster, more reliable transit from the West Coast, allowing shippers to bypass delays in congested areas like Chicago. It is the nerve center of CSX Transportation’s intermodal network and the cornerstone of the our doublestack freight initiative, the National Gateway.”

The National Gateway is CSX’s $850 million public/private partnership to create a doublestack-cleared rail corridor between the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. As one of the nation’s largest transportation projects, over a 30 year period, the National Gateway “will create more than 50,000 jobs and deliver a host of benefits including reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, better safety, lower highway maintenance costs, and reduced shipping costs,” CSX said.

Biden and Foxx spent a full day visiting the intermodal facility, taking part in a driving tour and training simulator demonstration as well as meeting employees and local residents. During spoken remarks, the Biden, Foxx, and CSX executives discussed the importance of infrastructure investment in improving America’s competitiveness, strengthening the middle class, and growing the American economy.

“Being able to efficiently move cargo and goods is essential to this country’s economy,” said Biden. “CSX and the Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal have led the revitalization of this region by providing strong, middle-class jobs, supporting local businesses, and improving our nation’s infrastructure to keep America competitive globally.”

“Infrastructure projects like this cutting-edge facility are the backbone of a growing American middle class and a thriving American economy,” said Foxx. “This facility provides tremendous benefits locally, regionally, and for the entire nation.”

“In an area where service from East Coast ports once took up to a week, it now only takes two to three days for goods to be shipped through the facility and delivered to the customer's door,” said CSX Transportation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Oscar Munoz. “We are very proud of our role in keeping America competitive by investing in infrastructure here in Ohio, at mid-Atlantic ports, and throughout our network. CSX appreciates the Vice President’s long-standing support for our work here today and in the future.”