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Norfolk Southern breaks ground on its new Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility

May 02, 2011

Class I railroad carrier Norfolk Southern last week broke ground on its new Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility in Rossville, Tenn.

Company officials said the $105 million facility is part of the $2.5 billion Crescent Corridor initiative. It is expected to be open in late 2012 and will be built on 380 acres. It is expected to create 6,200 jobs in the Memphis region over the next ten years and is expected to handle 327,000 containers and trailers annually.

NS added that this terminal will use sophisticated gate and terminal automation technology that is said shortens waiting time for trucks entering the terminal and reduces emissions and improves truck driver productivity.

Launched in June 2007, the Crescent Corridor is a public-private partnership (PPP) to build a rail corridor spanning from Louisiana to New Jersey. NS officials said this endeavor will expand and improve its rail network from the northeast to the southeast, expedite the delivery of cargo shipments, and reduce highway congestion by diverting truck traffic. When it is completed, NS said it will stretch across 2,500 miles from New Orleans to Newark, N.J. and run through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana.

The Crescent Corridor’s first phase is expected to be completed by 2013.

The Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility, said NS, is the second of four new intermodal terminals that are part of the Crescent Corridor initiative that will be constructed or improved over the next two years. The other facilities are in Birmingham, Ala. (expected to be open in late 2012); Charlotte, N.C.; and Greencastle, Pa.

The Memphis facility received $52.5 million from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program, and the Birmingham facility received $105 million in TIGER funding.

“This corridor is focused on increasing rail capacity for freight currently moving by truck,” NS spokesperson Susan Terpay told LM. “And to be able to do that, we need to have these terminals up and running. We are still in the process of constructing the terminals to accomplish that task.”

NS cited the following as benefits of the Crescent Corridor upon its completion:
-$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.

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