NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern announced that it will construct a new intermodal terminal in Rossville, Tenn., in Fayette County, to serve the Memphis region, as part of the railroad’s Crescent Corridor initiative to establish a high-speed intermodal rail route between the Mid-South and Gulf Coast and the Northeast.
The $129 million facility, in which freight is transferred between truck and rail, will occupy a 570-acre site and is expected to open in January 2012.
Norfolk Southern’s Crescent Corridor initiative is a multistate network of infrastructure improvements and other facilities intended to enhance Norfolk Southern’s 2,500-mile rail network that supports the supply chain from the Gulf Coast, Birmingham and Memphis to Philadelphia and the New York metropolitan area and enable it to handle more freight traffic faster and more reliably. The railroad is in the process of implementing Corridor projects, including straightening curves, adding passing tracks, improving signal systems, and building new terminals.
Altogether, nearly $2.5 billion in Crescent Corridor projects have been identified, and based on the public benefits that stand to be derived in the form of highway congestion relief, NS plans to implement the Crescent Corridor initiative through a series of public-private partnerships. If and when the Crescent Corridor initiative is fully implemented, it is anticipated that more than one million truckloads of freight will be absorbed from the highways to the rails annually, saving the U.S. more than 170 million gallons of fuel per year.
“Because of its strategic location and growing intermodal demands in the South, the Memphis regional terminal will be an anchor for the Crescent Corridor, and the new facility will help make possible truck-competitive freight transportation between the South and major Northeast markets,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman. “We commend Gov. Phil Bredesen and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for their collective vision and partnership in recognizing the economic development opportunities and job growth potential this project brings to Tennessee.”
Annual benefits to Tennessee as a result of the Crescent Corridor are expected to include more than half a million trucks diverted to rail, nearly 27 million gallons of fuel saved, carbon dioxide reductions of almost 300,000 tons, close to $17 million in annual congestion savings, avoidance of an estimated $23 million in accident costs, and the creation of more than 5,100 jobs.
“The Greater Memphis Region is home to the world’s largest cargo airport and one of the nation’s biggest cargo river ports. The Crescent Corridor and the Memphis intermodal terminal will expand the role of freight rail, further enhancing our competitiveness and spurring economic growth,” said Gov. Bredesen. “I appreciate all those who have worked in partnership to bring the benefits of this project to Fayette County, the Greater Memphis Region and the state of Tennessee.”
The Memphis terminal also will represent opportunities for economic development and job growth for Marshall County, Miss., and the State of Mississippi. Annual benefits to Mississippi as a result of the Crescent Corridor are expected to include more than half a million trucks diverted to rail, 8.5 million gallons of fuel saved, carbon dioxide reductions of 94,000 tons, close to $6 million in annual congestion savings, avoidance of more than $7 million in accident costs, and the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.
“Mississippi is pleased to participate in this five-state effort, through the Crescent Corridor, to improve the national freight transportation network, and I am enthusiastic about the economic development opportunities it will bring,” said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. “Working together in a partnership with Norfolk Southern, we are laying the groundwork for thousands of new jobs in logistics at a critical time for the American economy.”
NS conducted an extensive site search of the Memphis region for a suitable location. Site selection was given careful and exhaustive consideration to minimize impacts on surrounding communities, roadway facilities, and the environment. For commercial purposes, it was imperative that the site be located along the Norfolk Southern main line east of Memphis.
The Memphis regional intermodal facility will have the capacity to handle more than 327,000 containers and trailers annually. There will be a paved area to park 2,177 trailers and containers mounted on chassis. The terminal will utilize the latest in gate and terminal automation technology, which will reduce the waiting time to get into the terminal, thereby reducing emissions. Four trains will serve the terminal daily.
Further, the location selected will allow for adjacent economic development opportunities, including the development by others of an integrated logistics park and possible industrial park. This would add significant employment opportunities to Fayette County, the Memphis region, and Marshall County.
Rail intermodal traffic uses one-third of the fuel required by long-haul trucks on the highway and greatly reduces congestion caused by this truck traffic. These reductions can result in significantly reduced emissions and highway maintenance costs, helping the environment and the burden on state budgets.