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Rail News Home Intermodal

November 2007

Rail News: Intermodal

BlueStreak picks up speed for Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific


Union Pacific Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railway have shaved a day off transit times for intermodal traffic heading from the Southeast to southern California.

Last month, the Class Is began offering faster westbound moves to customers of their joint BlueStreak intermodal service. In May, UP and NS began offering faster eastbound BlueStreak service.

Westbound trains now use a shorter route over the Shreveport, La., Meridian Speedway gateway instead of a Memphis, Tenn., gateway, cutting about 130 miles off the travel distance to Los Angeles.

UP and NS now offer fourth-morning delivery for trailers and containers heading west on the BlueStreak from Atlanta to L.A.; fifth-morning delivery between Charlotte, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla., and L.A.; and sixth-morning delivery between Miami and L.A. The Class Is will provide shippers an “on time or free” guarantee on westbound traffic for a limited time.

“The investments made in this transcontinental route, including the Meridian Speedway, have created a high-speed, highly dependable intermodal gateway linking the Southwest to the Southeast,” said Don Seale, NS’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer, in a prepared statement.

CN opens Prince George intermodal facility Canadian National Railway Co.’s intermodal and distribution center in Prince George, British Columbia, is open for business. Last month, CN launched operations at the center, which the railroad expects to generate backhaul container traffic for freight moving to Asia via the new Port of Prince Rupert.

The closest North American port to Asia, the Prince Rupert facility will cut sailing time by 58 hours compared with other West Coast ports, according to CN.

The intermodal yard features two 2,400-foot pad tracks and an automated gate system. The Prince George Distribution Centre features an 84,000 square-foot warehouse and 10 acres of outside storage space. CN WorldWide North America will use the distribution center to provide freight forwarding services.

CN will provide direct daily container service from Prince George to the port.

“The facility is ideally situated to tap backhaul export opportunities, filling empty containers moving back to Asia through Prince Rupert with lumber, panels, woodpulp, paper, as well as ores, plastics and metal products,” said Jim Vena, senior vice president of CN’s Western Region, in a prepared statement.

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