Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NS: New website stresses PPPs

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With several freight rail corridor development public-private partnerships under way or in planning, Norfolk Southern has launched TheFutureNeedsUs.com, a new website focusing on the public benefits of these projects.

“TheFutureNeedsUs.com describes projects to increase rail freight transportation capacity and improve mobility and the environment,” NS said in announcing the website. “Information is provided for projects in Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, where governors Riley, Barbour, Rendell, Bredesen, Kaine, and Manchin are leaders in supporting transportation solutions.”

The site outlines how upgrading the Crescent Corridor—the existing 2,500-mile rail route from the Southeast to the Northeast—will support “a stronger economy, less highway congestion, cleaner air, and fuel savings. The Crescent Corridor will be among the largest additions of new freight transportation capacity since the Interstate Highway System. That means creating or benefiting some 47,000 green jobs and producing these estimated annual benefits: $326 million in tax revenues to states and communities; $1.3 million long-haul trucks diverted from interstates; $146 million in accident avoidance savings; 1.9 million tons in CO2 reduction; $575 million in congestion savings; $92 million in highway maintenance savings;, and 169 million gallons in fuel savings.”

Crescent Corridor components include new intermodal facilities at Memphis, Birmingham, and Franklin County, Pa., and the expansion of terminals in Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Other projects include straightening curves; adding passing tracks, double tracks, and signals; and running more efficient trains.

TheFutureNeedsUs.com provides detailed information about other NS projects, as well. These include theHeartland Corridor to open a new gateway for doublestacked container traffic from the East Coast to the Midwest; the MidAmerica Corridor to create shorter and faster routes for merchandise moving betweenthe Midwest and Southeast; and the Pan Am Southern Corridor to create an improved rail route between Albany, N.Y., and the greater Boston area. The site includes photos, videos, maps, fact sheets, links, contacts, and a convenient form for contacting Norfolk Southern.