Friday, June 08, 2007

Norfolk Southern proposes new Louisiana-N.J. rail corridor

Received the following via email. From a Virginia news article found at the following link:

Norfolk Southern proposes new Louisiana-N.J. rail corridor

By GREGORY RICHARDS, The Virginian-Pilot June 6, 2007

Norfolk Southern Corp. announced today plans for a $2 billion rail corridor to speed shipments of cargo containers between the central Southeast and the Northeast.

The project, dubbed the Crescent Corridor, involves upgrading and expanding the Norfolk-based railroad's rail network along a route stretching from Louisiana to New Jersey, purchasing new locomotives and railcars, and building new terminals in Maryland and Tennessee.

It is even more ambitious than the $309 million Heartland Corridor project that is being built to shorten train ships between the port of Hampton Roads and the Midwest.

Like the Heartland Corridor, Norfolk Southern plans to rely heavily on public dollars. The project would divert much truck traffic from highways, producing such public benefits as reduced highway congestion and vehicle emissions, Mike McClellan, Norfolk Southern's vice president of intermodal and automotive marketing, told a Wall Street conference today. Public bodies should pay for those benefits, he said.

Already, Virginia has committed $40 million for the project, which would run along Interstate 81, a main truck route, McClellan said.

If the financing comes together, construction on the Crescent Corridor would begin in 2008, with the first part being completed by 2009. he said. The project would be finished by 2013.