Monday, July 20, 2009

Rail can help relieve congestion, NS CEO tells governors

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Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern Corporation, called on the nation’s governors to consider railroads as “a vital part of the solution to our nation’s transportation crisis.”

Addressing the National Governors Association at Biloxi, Miss., Moorman said “railroads offer significant economic and environmental benefits while helping relieve highway congestion – which is fast becoming public enemy number one.”

“Our nation’s transportation network is a complex, interdependent system that demands our combined creative efforts to operate it most efficiently,” Moorman said. “Our experience at Norfolk Southern has shown that by working together in public-private partnerships, we can achieve far more in far less time and with far greater public benefits than any of us can by working alone.”

Moorman cited two rail routes – the Heartland Corridor between the Port of Virginia and Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago, and the Crescent Corridor linking New Jersey to New Orleans and Memphis, Tenn. – as examples of how public-private partnerships “can create additional capacity in our rail transportation network, with public benefits of jobs creation, less highway congestion, lower environmental emissions, and fuel savings.” He said the Crescent Corridor project alone will result in 41,000 “green” jobs over the next decade and move more than a million trucks annually off the highways onto rail, saving more than 150 million gallons of fuel every year and reducing carbon emissions by nearly two million tons per year.

“It’s clear we must do something,” Moorman said. “Freight volumes in this country are projected to grow 88 percent by 2035 alone. To handle that freight, we must improve our national transportation infrastructure.”
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