JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Gateway coalition today announced the on-time, on-budget completion of its first phase, which clears the way for double-stack intermodal rail service between CSX's existing terminal in Chambersburg, Pa. and its state-of-the-art hub facility in Northwest Ohio.
The National Gateway, an award-winning $850 million public private partnership to create a highly efficient and environmentally-friendly, double-stack cleared rail corridor between the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, is made possible through a combination of federal and state funds and CSX investment.
"Today, we celebrate the efforts of federal and state officials in achieving this milestone, which means more jobs, a more competitive America, and a more environmentally friendly way to move freight," said Michael J. Ward, CSX chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This is great news for our nation's transportation infrastructure, our customers and the communities we serve, and wouldn't be possible without the major investment of time and resources by our federal and state partners. While this is a significant milestone, our work is not done. Working with our public sector partners, we need to finish the job and complete double-stack clearances between Chambersburg and the Ports of Baltimore and Virginia."
Since its inception, the National Gateway generated support from governors and scores of public officials across six states, including more than three dozen members of Congress, three port authorities and dozens of global shippers, ocean carriers, business organizations and environmental groups.
Public funding for Phase One was supported by a federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant secured by the State of Ohio on behalf of the coalition, and administered by the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration.
As one of the nation's largest transportation projects, over a 30 year period, the National Gateway will create more than 50,000 jobs and deliver a host of benefits including reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, better safety, lower highway maintenance costs and reduced shipping costs. The National Gateway is driving economic growth in areas like Wood County, Ohio, where the recently opened Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal employs nearly 300 full-time employees and is handling hundreds of thousands of containers per year.
"The National Gateway will stimulate economic activity and boost the United States' competitive edge in the global economy while employing the people who will prepare us to meet future challenges," added Ward. "CSX is proud to support this significant infrastructure investment that will help modernize our transportation system and spur growth."
The National Gateway is currently focused on the project's Phase Two, which will double-stack clear the CSX corridor between Chambersburg, Pa. and mid-Atlantic ports.
To learn more about the National Gateway, visit www.nationalgateway.org.
Endorsements of the National Gateway
Jim Filter, SVP of Intermodal Commercial Management, Schneider National
- "The completion of these clearances improves Schneider Intermodal's customer experience while also providing more modal conversion opportunities for shippers. The National Gateway helps deliver our truck-like service commitment by increasing reliability and providing faster intermodal transit."
Barry Schoch, Secretary of Transportation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- "The National Gateway is a great example of the benefits that public and private organizations can deliver together. As an engineer, I'm proud of the role played by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the many other public partners in this engineering feat that will drive economic growth and development for years to come."
Matthew Dietrich, executive director of the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC)
- "Thanks to the National Gateway project, the most state-of-the art intermodal yard is now located in North Baltimore, Ohio. The intermodal freight connections provided by the National Gateway put Ohio at the hub of moving goods in North America. ORDC is very proud to be a part of this vast public-private partnership that is boosting our nation's economic development potential."
Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- "The efficient and effective transportation of goods is essential to ensuring America remains strong in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Initiatives like the National Gateway will help strengthen Pennsylvania's and the nation's economy by improving the flow of commerce and creating jobs."
SOURCE National Gateway