Friday, December 16, 2011

NS intermodal expansion aided by TIGER grant

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Norfolk Southern said Thursday it is proceeding to expand operations at its Rutherford Intermodal Facility near Harrisburg, Pa., following a $15 million TIGER III grant from the federal Department of Transportation.

The $60.5 million project, slated for completion in 2014, will help NS meet growing demand for intermodal freight transportation in the Harrisburg region. When completed, expanded operations could result in about 400 new direct and indirect jobs in Swatara Township and the surrounding Dauphin County community, in addition to construction jobs beginning as early as 2012, NS said.

“Growing demand for intermodal rail transportation means more jobs for the Harrisburg region and fewer long-distance trucks on congested interstate highways,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman (pictured at left). “This project and the TIGER grant will help Norfolk Southern meet that demand and provide a boost to the local economy. Expanding the Rutherford Intermodal Facility will result in tremendous economic development for Central Pennsylvania, as well as environmental benefits. Railroad locomotives can move a ton of freight 484 miles per gallon of fuel. That’s 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared with moving freight by truck.

“We are grateful for the support of Gov. Tom Corbett and PennDOT. They are committed to improving transportation in Pennsylvania, and they recognize railroads are a vital part of that. We also would like to thank Secretary Ray LaHood, Sen. Bob Casey Jr., U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, state Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, and state Rep. John Payne for their leadership and advocacy on behalf of the Rutherford project,” Moorman said.

The Harrisburg region also is an important part of Norfolk Southern’s 2,500-mile Crescent Corridor, stretching from Louisiana to New Jersey, where the company has identified $2.5 billion in infrastructure improvement projects. These projects would link key markets in the Northeast and Southeast with high-quality intermodal rail service and should support some 73,000 jobs, remove long-distance trucks from the highways, lower emissions damaging to the environment, and boost the economy, NS said.

NS said the Rutherford expansion is one of three significant economic projects the railroad is advancing in central Pennsylvania. The other two are a new $96.9 million intermodal facility under construction near Greencastle in Franklin County, and a $28 million expansion of operations at the Harrisburg intermodal terminal on Industrial Road.

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