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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crescent Corridor endorsed by Retail Industry Leaders Association

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Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Intermodal Freight Project has received the endorsement of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). As noted in a letter dated December 16, 2009, from Katherine Lugar, RILA's Executive Vice President, Public Affairs to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood:

"I believe this project is an effective and efficient use of public and private funds. It is a bold example of our nation's potential that exists if we set our sights on a more balanced approach to funding our nation's transportation needs. As you are aware, existing transportation resources are proving inadequate. This project will provide a new intermodal corridor with the ultimate potential to remove over one million trucks a year from our already strained national interstate highway system in the South and Northeast. Most importantly, these improvements can be completed within an 18 month timeframe."


RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

RILA joins a broad spectrum of supporters for Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor, including 60 U.S. senators and representatives, the leading business associations for Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia, along with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, A Greener Gulf Coast, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Mississippi Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils.
"The fact that our Crescent Corridor project is currently supported by more than 200 federal, state and local government officials, major companies, metropolitan planning organizations, and trade and environmental associations is a testament to its importance for our economy, environment, and national transportation network," said NS CEO Wick Moorman. "We are extremely grateful for the widespread support the project has received to date, and we look forward to working with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to maximize the opportunities the Crescent Corridor will deliver to the nation."
The Crescent Corridor is an existing 2,500-mile rail network supporting the supply chain from Memphis and New Orleans to New Jersey designed to handle more rail freight traffic faster and more reliably, creating or benefiting some 73,000 green jobs by 2030.

This past September, lead state Pennsylvania, joined by Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, applied for federal stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program. The application seeks $300 million in support of new independent intermodal facilities at Memphis, Birmingham, and Franklin County, Pa.; and the expansion of intermodal terminals in Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Track improvements in the five partner states will include 10 passing tracks, 557 individual speed improvements, and 393 miles of track improved with upgraded rail.