CSX investing $160 million to improve freight flow Posted 05.19.2011
The Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
By Peter Bacque
CSX Corp., the second-largest publicly traded U.S. railroad, said it will invest $160 million to improve its ability to move freight from the Port of Virginia at Hampton Roads to the Midwest.
The improvements during the next several years will complete CSX's $860 million National Gateway project, creating a more efficient freight transportation link between the mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest, CSX Regional Vice President Quintin Kendall told the Commonwealth Transportation Board on Wednesday.
CSX is timing the improvements to be able to carry the expected sharp increase in seaborne cargo moving through the state as a result of the Panama Canal's expansion in 2015, Kendall said.
"It's going to drive rail prices down," Kendall said.
Most of CSX's $160 million will be used to expand the century-old Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, and provide double-stack train clearances in Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Virginia has put an additional $42 million into the project.
CSX carries intermodal freight containers on its trains to and from Hampton Roads, but overhead clearances largely limit that traffic to trains carrying one container per car, called a single stack.
Double-stacked trains, which carry two containers per car, can deliver more freight with fewer trains, dramatically increasing efficiency while reducing rail line and highway congestion, CSX said.
To carry double-stacked containers, trains need 21 feet of clearance above the tracks, the company said.
As part of the project, CSX will eliminate two now-closed footbridges across its tracks in Richmond, one at Blue Shingles Lane in North Richmond and one at Platinum Road in South Richmond, Kendall said.
CSX also will build a rail support yard at Kilby in Suffolk, outside the Hampton Road ports.
"The National Gateway, with its improvements to the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, Kilby Yard and along the I-95 rail corridor, will open new business opportunities for the Port of Virginia and position the commonwealth to be even more competitive in the global economy," said Sean T. Connaughton, Virginia's secretary of transportation.
"The improvements on this corridor will also help address highway congestion and complement Virginia's passenger rail initiatives," Connaughton said.
The Gateway initiative is a public-private partnership to invest nearly $860 million in rail infrastructure and intermodal terminal projects in six states and the District of Columbia to speed the flow of goods between the U.S.' eastern and western rail networks.
"Through the National Gateway, CSX and its public partners are working together to vastly improve the quality and flexibility of the eastern rail network," said Michael J. Ward, CSX's chairman, president and CEO.
"With today's new $160 million commitment," Ward said, "CSX will have obligated a total of about $575 million over several years to better meet the needs of our customers, our states and our ports."
In a similar public-private undertaking, Norfolk Southern railroad last fall opened its Heartland Corridor between Hampton Roads and Chicago, raising tunnel clearances on the rail line to allow transport of double-stacked containers.
In other business, the state Transportation Board:
•Learned that, so far in the 2011 fiscal year, state transportation revenue has grown by 4.2 percent, running well ahead of the official estimated growth rate of 3 percent.
And despite the spike in gas prices, fiscal year-to-date motor fuels tax collections are up 3 percent, staying in line with the expected annual growth of 3.1 percent.
•Awarded an $8.9 million contract to Branscome Inc. of Williamsburg to repave state Route 288 from state Route 10 to Bailey Bridge Road in Chesterfield County.
The "Quiet Pavement Technologies" pilot project will use a special asphalt mix to reduce tire noise. Work is to be completed by Dec. 1.
CSX invests another $160 million into National Gateway project Logistics Management Posted 05.19.2011
By Jeff Berman
Class I railroad carrier CSX announced this week that it will make a $160 million investment over the next several years to help complete an ambitious railroad infrastructure project, the National Gateway.
The National Gateway is a roughly $850 million public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure initiative designed to provide a highly efficient freight transportation link between the Mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest. It was first unveiled by CSX in May 2008.
“Through the ...
CSX Commits Funding to National Gateway, Virginia Avenue Tunnel Expansion Project Posted 05.19.2011
The Hill is Home (Online)
By Kyra Deblaker-Gebhard
CSX announced on Wednesday that the company now has the funds and the federal partner needed to begin the Virginia Avenue tunnel expansion project. CSX will contribute $160 million over the next several years to complete the National Gateway project, with the majority of the investment being used to expand the 107-year-old Virginia Avenue tunnel in Southeast. The company also announced its federal partner in the project ...
CSX to spend $160M on N.E. infrastructure Posted 05.19.2011
The Jacksonville Business Journal (FL)
By Mark Szakonyi
CSX Corp. announced Wednesday that it plans to spend $160 million over the next several years to complete a project that will better connect the mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest.
The Jacksonville-based railway said in a news release that the majority of the money will be spent to expand and improve the century-old Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C., and create double-stack train clearances in Maryland ...