New NS Intermodal Facility

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Thu Apr 22 18:44:09 EDT 2010

Intermodal terminal construction could start in September
Rail-truck facility could employ 126 people once it opens in 2012
April 20, 2010
_waynesboro at herald-mail.com_ (mailto:waynesboro at

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — _Construction_
( could start in September for an Antrim
Township, Pa., rail-truck facility estimated to cost $95 million to $105
The intermodal terminal could employ 126 people once opened, possibly in
early 2012, a Norfolk Southern representative said Tuesday morning.
The facility will be part of Norfolk Southern’s improvements to the
Southeast to Northeast corridor, which Industrial Development Director Roger
Bennett said is “very underserved today.”
Bennett addressed a sizable crowd Tuesday during the Greencastle-Antrim
Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast.
Franklin County (Pa.) Area Development Corp. President L. Michael Ross
thanked Bennett and Norfolk Southern for the commitment to the county.
“We work with a lot of companies for site location, and Norfolk Southern
has done this right. ... The potential impact on Franklin County and the
region is enormous,” Ross said.
Norfolk Southern will start early advertising for construction companies
in the next two weeks, Bennett said. It will finalize the purchase of land
at exit 3 off Interstate 81 in mid-June and go out for bids around the same
time, he said.
The company, which operates 21,000 route miles in 22 states, will
simultaneously be building similar intermodal facilities in Memphis, Tenn., and
Birmingham, Ala., Bennett said. It also will expand its Pennsylvania terminals
in Harrisburg and Philadelphia as part of the first phase of the Crescent
Corridor initiative, he said.
Norfolk Southern made $1.3 billion of capital investments on its system
last year.
“We’re the most capital-intensive industry,” Bennett said.
The recession hurt the company most from Thanksgiving 2008 to March 2009,
according to Bennett. While most of 2009 was financially difficult, Norfolk
Southern reported a $1 billion net income at the end, he said.
“We’ve seen downturns before, but we had never seen any downturn that hit
every segment of our business,” he said.
Almost 30 percent of the company’s revenue comes from _hauling_
( coal and
similar fuel materials, and 19 percent of revenue comes from the intermodal
facilities. The other segment of Norfolk Southern’s business includes
general merchandise, including metals and wood.
One of the breakfast’s attendees asked what _commodities_
( would be
transferred from tractor-trailers to rail cars at the Antrim Township terminal.
Bennett said the items would be “essentially anything you can buy at Lowe’s,
Home Depot and Target.”
“At our intermodal facilities, we do not handle highly hazardous materials,
” he said.
International and domestic freight will be shipped in containers that are
double-stacked almost 22 feet high on rail cars to serve a 2,500-mile
supply chain. Norfolk Southern will be straightening curves and adding signals
along its routes.
“A lot of our intermodal trains can be as long as 8,000 feet,” Bennett
The railroad aims to deliver containers in 33 hours to its trucking
partners. Although Norfolk Southern trains travel at 50 mph, they frequently slow
down or stop for passing locomotives, Bennett said.
“We’re constantly trying to ratchet down that service metric,” he said of
delivery times.
He said Norfolk Southern officials chose Antrim Township, despite its
close proximity to the Harrisburg terminal, because they were looking for ways
to accommodate the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets. The exit 3
terminal will be four miles long, although the main pad and parking area will
be on 170 acres.
Two crossings will change when the intermodal facility opens. Two
cul-de-sacs will cause Milnor Road to end near the tracks, rather than allowing
passenger vehicles to cross there. A bridge will allow traffic to go over the
Hykes Road crossing.
“Part of our traffic mitigation plan will be to add traffic lights at the
interchange ramps,” Bennett
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