OMAHA, Neb. – Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern Railway have announced new westbound intermodal train service that will shorten by a day the trip for standard intermodal freight from the Southeast to Los Angeles.
The eastbound service was launched in May 2007. The new coast-to-coast service is part of the railroads’ commitment to improve capacity, service quality and speed by shifting domestic traffic to a new, shorter route over the Shreveport, La., gateway.
This shift began with the completion of the first phase of improvements on the Meridian Speedway – NS and Kansas City Southern’s joint venture corridor between Meridian, Miss., and Shreveport, an important direct-rail connection between the Southeast and Southwest. UP and NS ran successful test trains in this corridor last December. In establishing this new route, the railroads eliminated almost 130 route miles by moving this freight service from the Memphis gateway.
“The new westbound route complements the eastbound service launched earlier this year,” said Jack Koraleski, Union Pacific’s executive vice president, marketing and sales. “We are pleased to offer customers a fast, high-quality rail solution at rates competitive with other modes of land-based transportation.”
“The investments made in this transcontinental route, including the Meridian Speedway, have created a high-speed, highly dependable intermodal gateway linking the Southwest to the Southeast, providing the capacity to meet the needs of intermodal customers today and accommodate future growth,” said Don Seale, Norfolk Southern’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
The new westbound service will provide fourth-morning availability for BlueStreak intermodal shipments from Atlanta to Los Angeles, fifth morning from Charlotte and Jacksonville, and sixth morning from Miami.
Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern are backing their new service offering with an “on time or free” guarantee on the BlueStreak SuperFlyer service between the Southeast and Los Angeles for a limited time. These trains also provide the only ride for trailers in the Southeast – Los Angeles lane as they handle both containers and trailers.
BlueStreak offers expedited intermodal service with two products — SuperFlyer and Expedited. Blue Streak’s reliability, combined with the economies of rail, make this service highly competitive to over-the-road tractor trailers.
— Special to Railfanning.org News Wire