Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CSX marks National Gateway "midway point"

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CSX Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Ward Tuesday joined federal, state, and local officials from Pennsylvania to mark the midway point of progress on the first phase of projects for the National Gateway, the $850 million public-private partnership designed to improve freight rail traffic flows between the Midwest and the East Coast.

The officials marked the occasion at Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works, where the $13 million J&L Tunnel project will soon become the latest Phase One project to increase the vertical clearance on CSX rail lines to accommodate trains carrying double-stack intermodal containers.

Phase One is creating double-stack rail access between CSX's state-of-the-art intermodal terminal in northwest Ohio and its new modern intermodal terminal in Chambersburg, Pa. It is scheduled for completion next spring.

The J&L Tunnel clearance project is upgrading an existing tunnel built in the 1880s that runs directly through the SouthSide Works complex. The work will help alleviate pressure on regional highways and lower the cost of doing business in the Pittsburgh region by improving access to intermodal freight shipping options, CSX said. Funding for the tunnel upgrade comes from CSX, the federal government, and a Pennsylvania Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) Grant. Ohio also iscontributing $30 million to this first phase of clearance work.

"We are proud that we have been able to work with our partners in the federal and state government, communities and the private sector to invest in strategic transportation infrastructure that will alleviate highway congestion and enable our customers to better leverage rail, the most environmentally friendly way to ship goods over land," said Ward.