GREENCASTLE, PA, Jan. 21, 2013 (PRNewswire) -Norfolk Southern (NSC) today opened its third Crescent Corridor intermodal facility, a new $97 million terminal in South Central Pennsylvania that advances the company's multi-state rail infrastructure initiative connecting the Southeast and the Northeast.
The Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility, located on 200 acres south of Greencastle and less than a mile from I-81, will connect Central Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, and Northern Virginia to domestic and world markets while creating some 126 jobs at the site. The facility, a public-private partnership involving $52 million in NS funds and supported by a $45 million investment by Pennsylvania, is part of railroad's Crescent Corridor series of projects, a 2,500-mile network of rail and terminals that helps moderate truck traffic on congested roadways and reduce carbon emissions.
"The Crescent Corridor provides tremendous public benefits such as job creation, reduced long-haul truck traffic, and a cleaner, more efficient way to move freight," Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman said. "Opening the Franklin County facility marks a major milestone in this effort. We thank those who have supported our initiatives in Pennsylvania and across our entire Crescent Corridor, folks who recognize how crucial public-private partnerships are to boosting freight railroad transportation, which provides remarkable economic and environmental benefits to our country."
"I want a job for every Pennsylvanian who wants one and a transportation system that helps to build and maintain a strong economy," Gov. Tom Corbett said. "Public-private partnerships are critical to the advancement of projects like this terminal that will strengthen our infrastructure and create jobs for Pennsylvanians. Jobs and prosperity, after all, are what these projects are all about."
The new terminal, with its 670 paved trailer/container parking spots, will be a major gateway for freight in the Mid-Atlantic. NS projects with this facility, combined with other NS terminals in the state, as many as 800,000 long-haul trucks in Pennsylvania will be diverted off roadways in the commonwealth and onto trains by 2020.
"Intermodal terminals like the Franklin County facility are proven centers for investment, infrastructure improvement, and business growth," said U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "I have long supported freight rail because it's efficient, safe, and environmentally responsible. I have no doubt that this facility will open a new chapter in Pennsylvania's proud railroading history and create new opportunities for growth in Franklin County and beyond."
Pennsylvania has long backed NS' efforts to expand intermodal opportunities in the commonwealth. In addition to the $45 million for the new Franklin County facility, Pennsylvania also has provided or pledged a total of $30 million for expanded operations at NS' Harrisburg and Rutherford intermodal terminals. Additionally, the commonwealth successfully applied for a $15 million USDOT TIGER grant to further support the Rutherford expansion project.
"I'm proud to have been in a position to support this project. Freight rail is perhaps the most cost effective, fuel efficient, and environmentally sensible mode of freight transportation available to us today," state Sen. Rich Alloway said. "Investing in freight rail infrastructure projects like these will encourage job growth, improve our local and national economies, and provide tremendous environmental benefits."
NS constructed the facility's administration building to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards. The railroad is incorporating low-emission cranes and hostler tractors as well as the latest gate and terminal automation in order to maintain air quality and support truck drivers.
The Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility is the third Crescent Corridor intermodal terminal NS has opened since mid-2012, with facilities in Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn., having started operations within the past six months. Construction of a fourth Crescent Corridor-related intermodal terminal, located in Charlotte, N.C. is underway.
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.