Friday, January 25, 2013

CSX opens New England double-stack cleared route, plans Quebec intermodal facility

The Northwest Ohio Terminal is one example of CSXT's next-generation of intermodal facility. The Northwest Ohio Terminal is one example of CSXT's next-generation of intermodal facility. CSX

CSX Transportation, Inc., working with the commonwealth of Massachusetts, opened New England's first double-stack cleared intermodal route on its rail line between the New York state line and the newly-expanded intermodal terminal in Worcester, Mass., reducing transit times on key lanes by as much as 24 hours.

The project involved increasing vertical clearances at 31 locations between Worcester and New York state to 21 feet, enabling intermodal trains to operate with containers stacked two-high. The project connects with the double-stack cleared rail network at the New York state line, giving the region the ability to link with double-stack intermodal service throughout the country. Previously, double-stack intermodal trains coming to New England from the Midwest or from western origins had to stop in Syracuse, N.Y., to be converted from double-stack to single-stack configurations. The reverse occurred on westbound routes from New England, adding time, cost and complexity to these freight flows.

"This is an excellent example of how the public and private sector can work together on projects that benefit the public, strengthen the economy and enable highway to rail freight conversion to reduce strain on public infrastructure and serve supply chains seamlessly," said Clarence Gooden, CSX's executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

In other news, CSX and its transportation and intermodal terminals subsidiaries are planning to expand the company's intermodal presence in the greater Montreal region and Quebec. CSX's intermodal terminals subsidiary will build a new 36-hectare (89-acre) intermodal rail terminal in the city of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield in Quebec, connecting the region with CSX's 34,000-kilometer (21,000-mile) rail network in the United States.

The new $100-million project will enable shippers in the region to capitalize on the economic and environmental benefits of intermodal rail, expand on the north-south trade opportunities offered by the North American Free Trade Agreement and connect to new markets. The project is expected to create about 600 jobs during construction and lead to the creation of more than 300 permanent jobs when completed. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2013 and the terminal is expected to open in 2015.

Trains serving the terminal will connect through the Northwest Ohio intermodal hub, offering quick access to markets across the United States.

The terminal is expected to handle up to 100,000 containers per year, using modern, rubber-tire gantry cranes to transfer containers between trains and trucks.

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