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8/5/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS, UP set to launch expedited, Mexico-border-crossing intermodal service


Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad Aug. 1 announced plans to offer an expedited intermodal train service from the northeast and southeast to Laredo, Texas, and Mexico City, beginning Aug. 13.


The service would originate in Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Miami in the southeast, and NS' Rutherford terminal (Harrisburg, Pa.) in the northeast. Traffic would interchange at Memphis, Tenn., with UP, which would offer southbound service from its Marion, Ark., terminal.


Customers would have three service options:

• Passport, under which a load would be de-ramped in Laredo and trucked to destination by UP trucking and logistics subsidiary Union Pacific Carrier Services;

• Transborder, under which a load would move in-bond on a dedicated intermodal train from Laredo to Mexico City (though a connection with TFM S.A. de C.V.) and clear customs at Mexico City instead of the border; and

• Local Laredo Pick-Up, under which a load would move directly to Laredo, and a shipper would arrange its own local pickup and delivery beyond Laredo.


NS and UP plan to use a new dedicated train three days a week for the new service to reduce U.S.-to-Mexico transit time by several days and provide fourth-morning service on select routes (for example, from Atlanta to Laredo).


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