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3/25/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Double-stack line would clear path for affordable container service in Appalachia region, study says


On March 24, Marshall University's Rahall Transportation Institute (RTI) released preliminary results of a study conducted with Norfolk Southern Corp., and several mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states that examines the economic benefits and construction cost of clearing a rail line for double-stack moves.


Under the proposed $120 million project, NS' mainline would be cleared between Norfolk, Va., and several Midwestern cities, including the modification of 28 tunnels and construction of a rail/truck intermodal facility in West Virginia.


In addition to shortening mid-Atlantic-to-Midwest transit times and saving shippers about $368 million in transportation costs after completion, the project would open central Appalachia to affordable domestic and international container service, helping spur the region's economy, the study found.


The project also would provide additional capacity when Midwestern intermodal facilities become congested.


The study recommends that affected states begin preliminary engineering to refine construction cost estimates and develop formal relationships to pursue the project.












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