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Last year, CSX Corp. worked with customers to build or expand 107 industrial facilities on its network or along lines operated by its short line partners.The industrial development projects — which cost more than $3.5 billion — are expected to generate nearly 5,800 new jobs and 161,000 annual carloads. "In 2014, the bulk of customer investments along our network involved expanding and improving infrastructure for the energy sector. Low natural gas prices are also fueling more downstream projects in the chemicals and fertilizer arena, as well as other manufacturing industries," said Clark Robertson, CSX's assistant vice president of regional development, in a press release. "We see strong indicators that this robust activity will continue into 2015."Over the past decade, the railroad's customers have invested more than $30 billion in rail-served facilities across the Class I's 23-state network. State and local economic development agencies also continue to help support opportunities for new manufacturing facilities, said Robertson.To further attract industrial development projects, the railroad employs a "CSX Select Site" program that certifies properties intended for manufacturing uses. The properties must meet rigorous permitting and certification criteria to ease the development process and promote efficient project timelines, CSX officials said.CSX also recently launched a new online platform at www.csxindustrialdevelopment.com to support industrial development efforts across the network. The Industrial Development portal allows potential and current customers to search by specific facility needs and connect with the CSX Select Site program."Locating new customer facilities on our network and helping our existing customers expand are always top business priorities for [us]," said Clarence Gooden, CSX's executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "Our new Industrial Development website makes it easier for customers to access the information that can help grow their businesses while creating opportunities for CSX."
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