Monday, July 20, 2009

NS' Moorman: How public-private ventures build capacity

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Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman described to the National Governors Association on Saturday how public-private partnerships “can create additional capacity in our rail transportation network, with public benefits of jobs creation, less highway congestion, lower environmental emissions, and fuel savings.”

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Addressing a meeting of the association at Biloxi, Miss., Moorman (pictured at left) cited two public-private ventures – the Heartland Corridor between the Port of Virginia and Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago, and the Crescent Corridor linking New Jersey to New Orleans and Memphis, Tenn. – as examples.

He said the Crescent Corridor alone will create 41,000 “green jobs over the next decade and shift more than a million trucks a year off the highways and onto rails, saving more than 150 million gallons of fuel annually as well as reducing carbon emissions by nearly two million tons a year.”

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It will take more strategic initiatives like these, Moorman suggested, to prepare the railroads to handle their share of freight volumes that transportation economists predict will grow 86% by 2035.

“Our nation’s transportation network is a complex,  interdependent system that demands our combined creative efforts to operate it most efficiently,” Moorman said. “Our experience at Norfolk Southern has shown that by working together in public-private partnerships, we can achieve far more in far less time and with far greater public benefits than any of us can by working alone.”