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CSX Corp. affiliate Evansville Western Railway yesterday marked the launch of operations at the Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center, a state-of-the-art intermodal terminal located off State Road 60 in Winter Haven, Fla.The 318-acre facility will serve as a centralized hub for transportation, logistics and distribution needs in Orlando, Tampa and South Florida. The terminal, which features five 3,000-foot loading tracks and two 10,000-foot arrival and departure tracks, will process up to 300,000 containers per year.The facility employs such "cutting-edge" and green technologies as three high-powered electric cranes designed to minimize noise and emissions; solar panels on each building to provide alternative and renewable energy sources; and high-mast, LED exterior lighting to reduce energy consumption and light pollution, CSX officials said in a press release. In addition, the terminal's administration buildings are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified."The Central Florida ILC will add yet another transportation and logistics capability in a state that's already known for excellent ports, great highways and extensive railroad connectivity," said Clarence Gooden, CSX's executive vice president and chief commercial officer at CSX. "The terminal will provide an anchor for economic development in the region and position Florida for future growth while reducing congestion on the highways."Evansville Western Railway owns the facility, which will be operated by CSX Intermodal Terminals Inc. and served by CSX Transportation. Containerized freight previously handled at CSX's Orlando terminal will be shifted to the Winter Haven facility. Taft yard in Orlando will continue to serve other CSX needs.CSX also announced yesterday that more than 70 shippers have won its 20th annual Chemical Safety Excellence Award, which recognize customers who ship more than 600 carloads of hazardous materials during a given year without a release caused by such factors as failing to properly secure valves or closures.More than half of the 2013 recipients are repeat winners, "demonstrating their lasting partnerships with CSX and continued dedication to safety by shipping via rail," CSX officials said in a press release.Meanwhile, Union Pacific Railroad earlier this week implemented a "soft" opening of its new intermodal terminal in Santa Teresa, N.M., beginning some limited operations at the facility. Full operations are slated to begin in late May.The $400 million facility features fueling facilities, crew change buildings, locomotive inspection tracks, and an intermodal ramp and switching yard. Situated along UP's Sunset Route between Los Angeles and El Paso, Texas, the Santa Teresa terminal is 11.5 miles long and one mile wide, and includes 200 miles of track.The Santa Teresa ramp will provide the same inbound and outbound schedules that currently are provided to and from UP's El Paso ramp. Beginning in mid-2014, the Class I plans to announce new services between the Santa Teresa facility and Lathrop, Calif., as well as between Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., with routing over the New Orleans gateway.
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