NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern said it will construct a new intermodal terminal in Greencastle, Pa., to serve the Mid-Atlantic region, as part of the railroad’s multi-state Crescent Corridor initiative to establish a high-speed intermodal freight rail route between the Gulf Coast and the Northeast.
The $95 million facility, at which freight moving in containers and trailers will be transferred between train and truck, will occupy a 200-acre site adjacent to the planned Antrim Commons Business Park and is expected to open in late 2011.
“Because of its strategic location to key markets in the Mid-Atlantic region, the new Franklin County terminal is vital to the success of our Crescent Corridor,” said Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern’s chief executive officer.
“Rail freight is an important component of any transportation infrastructure discussion,” Governor Edward G. Rendell said. “This facility will create good jobs, generate revenue, and help reduce highway congestion. Pennsylvania has invested heavily in rail freight because it is a smart, environmentally friendly, cost-effective infrastructure investment. I will continue to advocate for rail freight investments at the state and national level.”
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 and Memphis to Harrisburg, 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. 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.
When the Crescent Corridor is fully operational, annual benefits to Pennsylvania are expected to include nearly 700,000 long-haul trucks diverted to rail, almost 10 million gallons of fuel saved, carbon dioxide reduction of 110,000 tons, more than $9 million in traffic congestion savings, and avoidance of an estimated $8.5 million in accident costs. Over the next ten years 26,000 jobs in Pennsylvania are expected to be created or enhanced by the Crescent Corridor. Norfolk Southern also has improvements planned for existing intermodal terminals in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, along with $27 million in track and signal upgrades.
The proposed investment in the Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility will create the capacity to handle more than 85,000 containers and trailers annually. The terminal will utilize the latest in gate and terminal automation technology, which shortens the waiting time for trucks entering the terminal, thereby reducing exhaust emissions and improving truck driver productivity. Four intermodal trains daily will serve the terminal.
Site selection was given careful and exhaustive consideration to minimize impacts on surrounding communities, roadway facilities, and the environment. A site near an existing logistics park with quick access to an interstate highway was chosen so that national and local markets would have the opportunity to benefit from the Crescent Corridor’s state-of-the-art economic development and environmental potential.
Rail Intermodal traffic uses one-third of the fuel required by long-haul trucks and greatly reduces highway congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and highway maintenance costs. The Crescent Corridor will help the environment and reduce a large burden on state budgets.