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NS opens yard to serve Honda's Alabama plant, joins U.S. Customs' voluntary security program

Yesterday, Norfolk Southern Corp. and Honda Manufacturing of Alabama L.L.C. dedicated a $15 million rail yard in Lincoln, Ala.

The 125-acre yard includes eight loading tracks that will enable Honda to load 1,120 vehicles — Odyssey minivans, and later in spring, Pilot sport-utility vehicles — into 104 bi-level and Autorack® rail cars.

NS plans to move two outbound trains daily to serve Honda's 2.8 million-square-foot plant, which produces 300,000 vehicles annually.

"This is the first Honda plant that Norfolk Southern serves directly," said NS Vice Chairman and Chief Marketing Officer Ike Prillaman in a prepared statement. "With the expansion of the plant, we will continue to seek new ways to [help] distribute their vehicles to the marketplace."

Meanwhile, NS also announced it's become a certified member of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), a voluntary government/business initiative designed to improve supply chain and border security.

Through C-TPAT, the customs agency encourages businesses to ensure the integrity of their security practices, and communicate best practices to other members and security guidelines to supply-chain business partners. The program requires participants to analyze all areas of security, such as documents, information systems, employee and contractor identification, equipment and facilities.

In return, U.S. Customs ensures C-TPAT partners a faster release of goods at the border and prompt resolution of issues that might delay shipments.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Union Pacific Railroad and Kansas City Southern already are C-TPAT members.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/26/2004