Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NS opens third Crescent Corridor intermodal terminal

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Norfolk Southern on Monday said it has opened its third Crescent Corridor intermodal facility, a $97 million terminal in Greencastle, Pa., in the south central portion of the Keystone State.

The 200-care Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility will connect central Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and northern Virginia to domestic and world markets, NS said. NS provided $52 million, matched by $45 million from the state of Pennsylvania in a public-private partnership, NS said.

"The Crescent Corridor provides tremendous public benefits such as job creation, reduced long-haul truck traffic, and a cleaner, more efficient way to move freight," Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman said. "Opening the Franklin County facility marks a major milestone in this effort. We thank those who have supported our initiatives in Pennsylvania and across our entire Crescent Corridor, folks who recognize how crucial public-private partnerships are to boosting freight railroad transportation, which provides remarkable economic and environmental benefits to our country."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said, "Public-private partnerships are critical to the advancement of projects like this terminal that will strengthen our infrastructure and create jobs for Pennsylvanians."

NS says it expects the facility, combined with other NS terminals in the state, to divert as many as 800,000 long-haul trucks in Pennsylvania off roadways in the and onto trains by 2020.

"Intermodal terminals like the Franklin County facility are proven centers for investment, infrastructure improvement, and business growth," said U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "I have long supported freight rail because it's efficient, safe, and environmentally responsible."

NS said Pennsylvania also has provided or pledged a total of $30 million for expanded operations at Norfolk Southern's Harrisburg and Rutherford intermodal terminals. As well, Pennsylvania successfully applied for a $15 million USDOT TIGER grant to further support the Rutherford expansion project.

The Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility is the third Crescent Corridor intermodal terminal NS has opened since mid-2012, with facilities in Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn., having started operations within the past six months. Construction of a fourth Crescent Corridor-related intermodal terminal, located in Charlotte, N.C. is under way, NS noted.