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I wonder if this seemingly innocuous project could provide impetus for trackwork that would begin to open up a Lakefront Bypass for freight trains (see http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=10544.0 or

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=3384.msg95259#msg95259 )...

______________

 

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1146558822175410.xml&coll=2

 

Historic brownfield new home for trucks

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Joan Mazzolini

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Cuyahoga County provided a $1 million loan Monday to develop the site of John D. Rockefeller's first oil refinery, south of downtown Cleveland, to help a trucking company expand its freight distribution facility.

 

 


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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http://www.cleveland.com/business/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/business/1151138187251370.xml&coll=2

 

Shippers hop aboard

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Peter Krouse

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Have you noticed a greater number of freight trains rum bling through Cleveland in recent years?

 

Chances are you have. Perhaps on the Norfolk South ern line as it crosses Chester Avenue in Midtown, or maybe along the CSX track as it runs parallel to the Norfolk Southern near University Circle.

 

Shippers across the country have been putting more and more freight on trains as the economics of hauling by rail have become more favorable.

 

 


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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What this article doesn't say is that by addressing the critical need for increasing capacity on our rail system, it will also enable many of the passenger rail projects (like the Ohio Hub and Midwest Regional Rail) to move from the planning table to reality.  Clearly a federal rail infrastructure development and funding bill is needed.

 

 

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Here's a map of the U.S. rail system that may be of interest... The colored lines not only indicate which lines are owned by which companies, but which lines are double-tracked (ie: has continuous sections of two parallel tracks like a two-way street). We here in Cleveland are fortunate to have two double-tracked rail lines -- CSX Transportation's and Norfolk Southern's east-west mainlines. Among other functions, they serve as a bypass route for Pacific-Atlantic ocean container traffic that can't go through the Panama Canal because the ships are too large. But I digress...here's the map:

 

USrailmap.gif

 

While this map is slightly out of date, as more and more sections are seeing double track built/restored to handle booming rail traffic growth, it still saddens me that we lost so much capacity from the 1950s into the 1980s. Imagine the map having three times as much double-tracked rail lines as there are now...


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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That illustrates one of the problems with US transportation policy. Railroads pay property tax on their infrastructure, including right-of-way, track and signaling systems. The business-school graduates who have taken over much of railroad management have no comprehension of the realities of railroad operations, including seasonal and cyclical traffic patterns, and a major component of their cost-control activity has been the removal of infrastructure they see as redundant, especially double track.

 

A notable casualty was the former Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad that was a major link in the PRR, later Conrail, New York - Chicago mainline. It once carried a lot of traffic, and prior to 1990 it carried two Amtrak trains each way, each day (Broadway Limited and Capitol Limited). It also served as a backup for the former NY Central route through South Bend in the event of major track work or accident-caused interruptions. One night when the Lake Shore Limited was detoured through Fort Wayne, I saw three Amtrak trains at Fort Wayne's Baker Street station at one time!

 

CSX got that route as part of the partition of Conrail, and removed the second track and the signaling system, and turned it over for operation to Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern, a RailAmerica operation. In its current state it can only handle local feeder traffic instead of supplementing the Water Level Route farther north.

 

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You look at that map and consider your part of Indiana, which had four double-tracked (or better) rail lines passing through on the way to Chicago... New York Central (now NS), Baltimore & Ohio (CSX), Pennsylvania RR (now CSX-leased to RailAmerica) and Erie RR (gone). It's pretty pathetic that, at one point in the late 1990s, there was only one double-tracked line left in your area -- the former New York Central. So I guess we could say that things are getting better after CSX plunked down $200+ million to put the second track back on the old B&O!


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Rush Loving Jr.: $60 billion annually in road tie-ups -- Trains answer to U.S. transport crisis

Providence (R.I.) Journal

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, August 9, 2006

 

THIS COUNTRY is facing a transportation crisis. Highways around most large cities are jammed. Drivers must wrestle with at least 10 urban bottlenecks between Boston and northern Virginia. Between Tampa and Detroit, truckers must thread their way through at least six major tie-ups. Even outside urban areas, interstates such as Route 95 are overcrowded and often closed because of accidents or breakdowns.

 

Although most people do not realize it, a jammed transport system can seriously impair the nation's economy. Our leaders worry for good reason about the possible impact on America of terrorists, but they fail to recognize that growing highway congestion can also wreak serious damage. Fortunately no lives are lost, but the nation's economic strength does suffer.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Online at: http://www.projo.com/opinion/contributors/content/projo_20060809_09loving.1bdb392.html

 

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And yet we have no federal policy directed toward the redevelopment and expansion of our rail systems for handling either passengers or freight.

 

We need to be sending Loving's op-ed to each of our representatives in both Columbus and D.C.

 

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This report is typical of what I've been seeing for well over a year.  The demand for moving freight by rail is steadily growing, but the capacity to move it is not keeping pace.  This is why significant federal legislation is needed.  This would not only increase capacity but create a train-load of jobs as well..... somebody's got to build this stuff.

 

 

U.S. Freight Railroads Traffic Gains

 

 

Contact: Tom White

(202) 639-2556

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

U.S. Freight Railroads Traffic Gains

 

Carload Freight up 1.2 Percent for Week Ending Aug. 5

 

WASHINGTON, August 10, 2006 - Freight traffic on U.S. railroads rose during the week ended August 5 in comparison with the corresponding week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported today.

 

 

 

http://aar.org/Index.asp?NCID=3814

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I'm not a freight rail expert, but having grown up here and visited many other cities, even industrial ones, it appears Cleveland has a stellar system of freight lines in its city and metro area.  We seem to have a well organized system (esp with that belt line that can divert traffic off much of the lake and thru downtown).  We have a ton of lines that radiate from downtown -- a tribute, I guess, from our one-time prowess as a rail passenger hub (hopefully, we can recapture some of that w/ the new Amtrak plan).  We also seem to have a lot more grade-separation, esp inside Cleveland, than other cities.  Only Philadelphia, and, obviously, New York, from my observation, would best us in grade separation.  Of course, those 2 towns also are the only ones w/ extensive electrified commuter rail systems utilizing most of that grade separation.

 

Our wealth in such frieghtlines makes it easy to see why we opted to exploit them when we built the Rapid.  I know the Rapid routing isn't perfect for a number of reasons, esp viz the Euclid corridor where a subway should have been built, but laying transit track in extant ROWs makes a lot of sense for a city of moderate size and density (the Rapid does serve or go near a lot of the city's key neighborhoods).  The Van Sweringen's realized this early on when they built the 1st Rapid lines to Shaker and, in the process, completely segregated passenger rail through the new Union Terminal and off the lakefront -- the big fight during WWI among leaders, of course, was between the lakefront and Public Sq for our passenger terminal -- I'm certainly glad the Vans won. 

 

It's ironic, therefore, that a) the AMTRAK passenger station returned to the site where the grand Mall-crowning station would have stood and, b) today, there's a tug of war (carried over to this board) btw relocating the conv center from the lake to Public Square.

 

On a side note, I sure hope a plan (noted in the Matt Zone thread) to relocate thru frieghts along the outer-belt line away from downtown and the Lake becomes a reality.  Indeed, I don't see how the promising Amtrak Ohio Hub plan can become a reality with so many frieghts running through the proposed North Coast station area.

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As far as passenger rail goes, Cleveland was less of a passenger rail hub than cities of comparable size. At its peak, Cleveland hosted 90 regularly scheduled passenger trains a day, whereas Cincinnati had 125 and St. Louis 260. Cleveland was a freight railroad hub, much of which was for getting iron ore off the lake freighters to places like Youngstown and Pittsburgh. Consider that it once had four routes to the southeast (Erie RR, Pennsylvania RR, New York Central/Lake Erie & Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh & Lake Erie, and Baltimore & Ohio), where as it had only two each to the west, southwest and northeast.

 

Chicago also has few grade crossings, as it long ago passed an ordinance requiring all railroads within city limits to have grade-separated rights of way. Cleveland never passed such a law, but a number of railroad grade-separated their lines anyway. Most active in this regard was the Nickel Plate RR, which in 1915-16 completely grade separated its right of way through Cleveland. Also, many older industrial cities like Cleveland have (or had) belt-line railroads, but ours was built to mainline quality standards. Many other belt-line railroads are (were) for industrial access and thus had lots of grade crossings and were fairly low-speed operations.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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... At its peak, Cleveland hosted 90 regularly scheduled passenger trains a day, whereas Cincinnati had 125 and St. Louis 260. ...

 

I read once that Fort Wayne rail passenger traffic peaked in the years shortly after World War One with 110 daily scheduled passenger trains, not including five interurban lines that radiated out from the city. The major steam roads were Pennsylvania, Wabash and Nickel Plate, and the same article said that about 40 of those 110 trains were on the Pennsylvania.

 

One of the interurbans ran frequent service to Indianapolis and Louisville, and the other ran multiple daily trips to Lafayette through Huntington, Wabash, Peru and Logansport. The interurbans stole passenger traffic from the steam roads with convenience, cleanliness and short-haul speed, and by the late 1930s the interurbans were dropping like flies before the onslaught of automobiles and paved highways.

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Paved highways was the key point. The so-called love affair with the automobile wasn't possible as long as cars were stuck in the mud.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Chicago also has few grade crossings, as it long ago passed an ordinance requiring all railroads within city limits to have grade-separated rights of way. Cleveland never passed such a law, but a number of railroad grade-separated their lines anyway. Most active in this regard was the Nickel Plate RR, which in 1915-16 completely grade separated its right of way through Cleveland. Also, many older industrial cities like Cleveland have (or had) belt-line railroads, but ours was built to mainline quality standards. Many other belt-line railroads are (were) for industrial access and thus had lots of grade crossings and were fairly low-speed operations.

 

You may be right about the law, but there are still quite a number of grade crossing in town.  I once rode in town on the Metra from Shamburg and was quite surprised by the number of grade crossing practically all the way into Union Station in the city.  Also, don't forget the famous South Chicago branch of the old IC/Metra electric that has big, bi-level electric commuter cars trundling down the middle of 71st (?) street as though it were Shaker or Van Aken.  Also, I know of at least one L line (Brown Line) that, toward its end, drops down onto street level, through the backyards and crosses a number of streets at level, exposing pedestrians to the live 3rd rail which, unlike other systems, Chicago's doesn't seem to cover for some reason.

 

... your comments about Cleveland's relative lack of historic passenger rail traffic is interesting.  I guess the Vans were groundbreaking (no pun intended) in putting their rail terminal at the center of business district underground while developing air rights overhead.   New York's the only other city I've seen do this.  Most passenger terminals are at the periphery of their downtowns, some (Cincy, Baltimore, Detroit) weren't/aren't downtown at all... But from what I understand -- in accord w/ your comments -- the Vans blew in rolling the dice on passenger RRing in Cleveland in the late 20s; that plus the Depression cost them their empire -- and ultimately, their lives.

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I believe Chicago's ordinance applied only to the steam/freight roads and not to interurbans, streetcars or other passenger railways. The purpose wasn't to segregate the traffic as much as it was to keep street traffic from being blocked by long, slow freight trains -- especially with all the interchange traffic and rail yards in Chicago. That may explain why the IC electric's South Chicago branch was allowed to remain on 71st Street.

 

As for the Metra Elgin Line you rode in to town from Schaumburg on, consider how far out Schaumburg is. I'm not saying you didn't see what you saw, but you traveled more than 20 miles before you got to the Chicago city limits, with another 9-10 miles from there to Union Station. And I believe there are still some grade crossings left on that line in Chicago -- one of them being right outside the entrance to Union Station.

 

BTW, lots of big-city train stations were built in the late 20s or early 30s, though the planning for them tended to start right after WWI. Cleveland Union Terminal was no different, as voters awarded a station-construction franchise to the Vans in 1919.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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A friend of mine who works in economic development in Cincinnati said that inquiries about new plants in our area are almost always today accompanied by questions about the availability of rail. Five years ago, those kind of questions were never asked.

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Not only that, but I can tell you with some authority that the availability of rail service is often a deal maker or deal breaker.  Most companies are turning more and more to using rail because it is simply more cost-efficient than long-haul trucking.  One of the reasons Maytag/Whirlpool closed it's flagship plant in Newton, Iowa and brought those jobs to two locations in Ohio was because rail access was better and that the Ohio Rail Development Commission worked with the communities and the company to help fund improvements to the rail infrastructure.

 

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your comments about Cleveland's relative lack of historic passenger rail traffic is interesting.  I guess the Vans were groundbreaking (no pun intended) in putting their rail terminal at the center of business district underground while developing air rights overhead.  New York's the only other city I've seen do this.  Most passenger terminals are at the periphery of their downtowns, some (Cincy, Baltimore, Detroit) weren't/aren't downtown at all.

 

I would guess this has more to do with the geography of downtown Cleveland than anything else.  Considering that Public Square sits 70 feet above the level of Lake Erie, the underground train station was easier to build than if elsewhere, as it would be more an excavation than a tunneling project.  The development above the station was likely used to finance the construction of the terminal.  Anyone more knowledgable, feel free to correct me. 

 

While Baltimore's Penn Station is in the Mount Vernon Square area uptown, Camden Station (B&O) is smack downtown, right behind the warehouse you see in right field of the baseball stadium.  Unfortunately, that station is only used by a handful of commuter trains a day.  Kinda curious as to how Grand Central Terminal fits into this picture, though.  While not downtown, it certainly is in the middle of a large business district....  :-)

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My take Dan is that it would have been easier for the Vans to build a surface station on Public Square, based on the elevation issue. For westbound trains heading out of Cleveland Union Terminal, they had to negotiate a relatively sharp curve and climb a 1%+ grade on the Cuyahoga Valley viaduct. That's not a great way to come out of a station. But the Vans wanted a subterranean station above which they could build their real estate portfolio -- which is what the Vans ultimately were all about.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I'll buy that.  I'm sure it was far easier to build CUT, though, than Grand Central Terminal or New York Penn, which involved a heck of a lot of tunneling through rock.

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Don't forget the statistic that the Cleveland Union Terminal was the largest excavation project since the Panama Canal. And I seem to recall it may have even been larger than that. Although, like you said, it didn't involve blasting through rock.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Yes, a few of them. One of them is actually posted on-line at

 

http://www.clevelandmemory.org/SpecColl/cut/dedbk/cut.html

 

It's a reprint of a book published in 1930. I bought a reprint of it during CUT's 50th anniversary.

 

Another book is "The Terminal Tower Complex" by Jim Toman and Dan Cook. It is Volume I of the Cleveland Landmark Series and published by Cleveland Landmarks Press Inc. (at least my 1980 copy was!).

 

But probably the best book of all is "Invisible Giants" by Herbert H . Harwood Jr. The book is about the Van Sweringen brothers and how they built their empire. They initiated a development and used it build something larger, and used that to build something even bigger, and so on. Thus, ultimately the book leads up to the construction of the Cleveland Union Terminal complex (a $1.6 billion investment in today's dollars). Fascinating stuff! Here is a link to a description about the book:

 

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=20113

 

The book is also available at Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0253341639/103-2895885-9319003?v=glance&n=283155


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Also, The Nickel Plate Story, by John A. Rehor. It's 400+ pages and went through five printings from 1965 through 1994. It's now out of print, and good used first editions are somewhat collectible, going for as much as $50 - $75. It covers the history of the Nickel Plate Railroad from end to end, and for just about the entire life of the company, and Cleveland and the Terminal Tower project are a significant part of that history. The book has photos of the stations and other facilities that were replaced by the project.

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http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/09/04/daily7.html 

 

Heartland Corridor project receives $95M in federal funds

Business First of Columbus - 2:29 PM EDT Tuesday

 

The Federal Highway Administration said Tuesday it is releasing $95 million for construction of the Heartland Corridor, giving Norfolk Southern Corp. and the states of Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia the green light to begin raising overpasses on a rail route across the region.

 

 

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September 5, 2006

 

Agreement Reached On Federal Funding For Heartland Corridor

 

NORFOLK, VA -- The States of Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that the three states and Norfolk Southern’s operating subsidiary, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, have entered into Memoranda of Agreement with FHWA that govern the release of $95 million in federal funding for the Heartland Corridor rail double-stack clearance project.

 

The Heartland Corridor will enable double-stacked international maritime and domestic containers to be transported by rail between the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and locations in the Midwest by raising tunnel clearances and modifying other overhead obstructions in western Virginia, West Virginia, and through to Columbus, Ohio.

 

Through mutual agreement among all the parties, FHWA’s Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division will serve as project leader.

 

The Heartland Corridor Project is a public-private partnership whose purpose is to expand capacity, improve service consistency and reduce customer availability times by up to one day for intermodal traffic between the mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, providing opportunities for economic development in all three affected states, as well as benefits to the nation overall.  The Heartland Corridor was designated as a Project of National and Regional Significance under the recently enacted SAFETEA LU legislation.  Improvements in the efficient movement of international and domestic containers will be achieved under Heartland via rail, providing an effective alternative to over-the-road movement of freight.

 

With all of the funding agreements in place, the parties to the agreements can now move to complete the engineering and environmental studies required, with the goal of

beginning construction of the project soon thereafter.  The parties expect the clearance construction to be completed by the end of 2009.

 

“This is an important public-private partnership that will result in significant public benefits, including increased access for the Port of Virginia and increased movement of freight by rail as opposed to on the highways,” said Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.  “I’m pleased with the multistate and federal partnership that has enabled this project to advance.”

 

“Harnessing the strength of the Port of Huntington Tri-State, which ranks as the seventh largest port and the largest inland river port in the United States, with the Port of Virginia and Port of Columbus creates an 1100-mile corridor of unprecedented economic opportunity,” said West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin. “Bringing both the public and private sectors together proves that not one, but three states have a greater capacity for potential economic development.  The Heartland Corridor presents another opening for business opportunity for West Virginia to participate in the global market place.”

 

“This is an important step to address the critical and growing need to increase the capacity for our rail systems to move freight, especially at a time when so much of it is moving by container between our nation and international markets”, said Ohio Rail Development Commission Executive Director James Seney.  “Coupled with the Rickenbacker Intermodal Hub now being built near Columbus, getting the Heartland Corridor Project underway will increase efficiencies for shippers and further strengthen our region's strategic importance in the global economy.”

 

“This project is a prime example of how a public-private partnership can result in major benefit to the economy,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman. “The expanded rail capacity and improved transit times between Hampton Roads and the Midwest will stimulate economic growth throughout the region and enhance the nation’s ability to compete for international trade.”

 

“Transportation will play a huge role in our nation’s ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace—five, ten, fifty years into the future,” said Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka. “This transportation improvement provides an efficient alternative to over-the-road freight movement and promises to reduce congestion.”

 

###

 

Norfolk Southern contact:

(Media) Robin Chapman, 757-629-2713, (robin.chapman@nscorp.com)

 

http://www.nscorp.com/nscorp/application;JSESSIONID_nscorp=E92iHqUXG15ReWfVJ2NWRA0nqLgeo1QkW3ixcsmgVuyWY2ZxZKyr!-621522835?origin=content.jsp&event=bea.portal.framework.internal.refresh&pageid=NS+News&contentId=english/nscorp/news/whats_new/whats_new/news080506.html

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Central Ohio expected to see economic boost from railroads

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RICK ADAMCZAK

Daily Reporter Staff Writer

09/07/2006

 

Columbus is expected to get an economic boost for years to come from a source of economic development that has existed for more than a century: railroads.

 

read more at:

http://www.sourcenews.com/news/today/cdr_b.lasso

"These projects are all connected and multi-dimensional," said Nicholson.

 

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Can someone who has a subscription to Crain's Cleveland Business post an article from this week's edition? The article is about more shippers choosing rail over trucks in the face of high fuel prices. Thanks in advance.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Rail workers hustle to keep profit on track

Crews trim time that trains spend idle to keep up with demand

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Josh Funk

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — Something is almost always moving on the tightly packed 315 miles of railroad track here that Guinness World Records says is the world’s largest rail yard.

 

Readd more at:

http://dispatch.com/business-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/10/01/20061001-B2-01.html

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Earlier this year, CN withdrew from the six railroad/city/state consortium formed to fund and construct the CREATE project after Congress appropriated $100 million--$500 million less than anticipated--in federal funds (RA, February, p. 6). While the railroad said it supported CREATE as a worthy concept, it could not justify making an initial financial commitment of $17 million without the prospect of receiving operational benefits.

 

If CREATE doesn't happen, or isn't built-out anywhere close to plan, the rail traffic congestion in Chicago is going to force more railroads like CN to run around Chicago and do their interline transfers with other railroads in other cities (St. Louis, Kansas City or even Memphis). You may see secondary rail lines that bypass Chicago get beefed up to mainline standards, traffic increased over them and major interline terminals established along them. That could be quite a loss to Chicago and a benefit to other cities. I hope the federal government doesn't fail Chicago.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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We're already seeing some of that happen.  That's a big reason Schneider Trucking, the CSX & KCS railroads went all out on the intermodal yeard that opened at Marion OH earlier this year.  The priority container train route runs from Marion to Kansas City, Missouri and was done so specifically to bypass Chicago. 

 

Four trains a day use this route and they have priority over any other train on the line.  Their biggest customer is Whirlpool Corporation, which ships internationally to Mexico, via the KCS Railroad.  The line will also soon hookup with the BNSF railroad at Kansas City and provide service to the Pacific Northwest container ports.

 

Chicago is already being bypassed, and more of that is coming.  They need to put CREATE on the "fast track" and soon.

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A Sept. 18 article "Driven To Change" in Crain's Cleveland Business (could someone post it - I don't have access to their archives) discusses the booming growth in intermodal freight traffic, linking former arch-enemy modes railroads and trucking. The article notes that Greater Cleveland's two principal intermodal terminals (recently built at Collinwood [49 acres] and in Maple Heights [70 acres]) are bursting at the seams with little room for expansion.

 

If no new, larger site is found for an intermodal terminal or two, Greater Cleveland will lose out to other cities which are making major investments to build intermodal terminals and expand capacity of their rail lines. They will benefit from high-paying warehousing jobs, increased commerce as a transportation center and reduced highway traffic and pavement damage from diversions of freight from truck to rail. For example, two new intermodal terminals in Columbus are several times larger than Cleveland's two terminals and are expected to create several thousand new jobs.

 

So where might there be some locations for such an intermodal terminal in Greater Cleveland? I did some searching, and came up with these locations, as well as some possible criteria to evaluate them.

 

CRITERIA (ranked Low - Medium - High):

 

1. Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. Site is near an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

 

Here's my suggested sites (listed alpabetically)....

 

Barberton

 

cleintermodalbarberton-s.jpg

(That solid green line is an anomoly I couldn't seem to get rid of. It doesn't represent anything on the ground.)

 

Criteria:

1. MEDIUM-HIGH (offers 200 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. HIGH - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. HIGH - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. LOW - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. MEDIUM - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. MEDIUM - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. MEDIUM - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

 

 

Euclid Square

 

cleintermodaleuclidsquare-s.jpg

 

Criteria:

1. MEDIUM/LOW (offers 180 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. LOW - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. HIGH - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. HIGH - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. HIGH - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. HIGH - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. HIGH - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

 

 

Kent Erie Yards

 

cleintermodalkenterieyard-s.jpg

 

Criteria:

1. LOW (offers 75 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. HIGH - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. HIGH - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. LOW - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. MEDIUM - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. HIGH - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. LOW - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

 

 

Cleveland Kinsman Yard

 

cleintermodalkinsmanyard-s.jpg

 

Criteria:

1. LOW (offers 135 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. HIGH - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. HIGH - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. LOW (Could change with Opportunity Corridor) - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. MEDIUM - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. MEDIUM - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. HIGH - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

 

 

Linndale Yard

 

cleintermodallinndaleyard-s.jpg

 

Criteria:

1. LOW (offers 125 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. MEDIUM - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. HIGH - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. HIGH - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. HIGH - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. HIGH - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. HIGH - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

 

 

Macedonia Motor Yard

 

cleintermodalmotoryard-s.jpg

 

Criteria:

1. MEDIUM-HIGH (offers 200 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. HIGH - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. LOW - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. HIGH - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. HIGH - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. HIGH - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. MEDIUM-LOW - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

 

 

Cleveland Rockefeller site

 

cleintermodalrockefeller-s.jpg

 

Criteria:

1. LOW (offers 130 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. MEDIUM - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. HIGH-MEDIUM - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. HIGH - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. HIGH - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. HIGH - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. HIGH - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

I also looked at the Brook Park Ford plant site, even though it is still active. Just in case it doesn't stay that way, this site should be considered with a future use that is "ready to go" because Brook Park will wither and die without Ford or something to quickly replace it. This is a very good site for an intermodal terminal....

 

 

Brook Park Ford

 

cleintermodalbrookparkford-s.jpg

 

Criteria:

1. HIGH (offers 330 acres) - Provides an area of at least 200 contiguous acres of flat land;

2. LOW - Land is ready for development with limited site preparation required;

3. HIGH - Site is served by rail lines owned and operated by two or more companies;

4. HIGH - Site is next to an Interstate or other limited-access highway;

5. HIGH - Local-access truck routes into site exist;

6. HIGH - Surrounding land uses will support terminal;

7. HIGH - Site is easily accessible to economically disadvantaged job-seekers.

 

Those are my findings. I'd be interested in hearing your feedback.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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KJP, thank you for bringing issues like this to light. I never, ever would have known about these things or understood their importance.

 

Are our leaders doing enough to make sure we don't lose out to other cities? Who are the point people on this to write to?

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Start with letters to the editor of your local papers and write to folks at Team NEO and the Greater Cleveland Parternship. Your elected leaders may hear you if you contact them, but they will listen to the Team NEOs and GCPs of this region.

 

By the way, I may have been a little too conservative with the Kinsman Yard site. There is enough vacant land around the original area I delineated so that the footprint for the intermodal yards and supportive warehousing uses could be expanded to at least 210 acres. More contiguous areas of supportive land uses could be included if the Blue/Green Lines were relocated down the median of the Opportunity Corridor Boulevard (see http://members.cox.net/neotrans/OpportunityCorridorRapidREV.pdf ).

 

Note the larger area delineated in orange...

 

NEW VERSION....

cleintermodalkinsmanyard2s.jpg

 

OLD VERSION....

cleintermodalkinsmanyard-s.jpg


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Contact: Tom White

(202) 639-2556

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

U.S. Freight Rail Traffic Up in September

 

WASHINGTON, October 5, 2006 — Both intermodal and carload freight were up on U.S. railroads during September, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported today.

 

The last three weeks of September 2006 were the three highest-volume intermodal weeks in the history of U.S. railroading, as railroads originated 987,903 intermodal units during the month, up 50,543 trailers and containers (5.4 percent) from the same month last year. Carload volume also rose, totaling 1,352,159 units, up 4,366 carloads (0.3 percent) from September 2005.

 

Eleven of the 19 major commodity categories tracked by the AAR saw U.S. carload increases in September 2006 compared to September 2005. Intermodal traffic is not included in carload figures.

 

Commodities showing carload gains in September 2006 included coal (up 12,667 carloads, or 2.3 percent, to 569,005 carloads); metals and metal products (up 5,339 carloads, or 10.2 percent, to 57,675 carloads); and grain (up 4,457 carloads, or 5.2 percent, to 89,935 carloads).

 

Commodities showing carload decreases in September 2006 included motor vehicles and equipment (down 11,602 carloads, or 12.4 percent, to 82,144 carloads); nonmetallic minerals (down 5,081 carloads, or 16.3 percent, to 26,046 carloads), and stone, clay, and glass products (down 3,753 carloads, or 8.9 percent, to 38,607 carloads).

 

In the third quarter, total carloads on U.S. railroads rose 1.1 percent (48,271 carloads) to 4,346,112 carloads, led by coal (up 4.5 percent, or 78,072 carloads), metals and metal products (up 13.5 percent, or 22,192 carloads), and grain (up 5.6 percent, or 15,506 carloads). Carloads of motor vehicles and equipment fell 11.0 percent (28,947 carloads) in the third quarter; carloads of nonmetallic minerals were down 12.1 percent (12,167 carloads); and carloads of lumber and wood products were down 11.7 percent (8,922 carloads).

 

For the first nine months of 2006, total U.S. rail carloads were up 175,983 carloads (1.4 percent) to 13,136,203 carloads.

 

U.S. intermodal traffic was up 182,237 trailers and containers (6.1 percent) in the third quarter and was up 545,939 trailers and containers (6.3 percent) for the first nine months of 2006 to 9,203,475.

 

Total volume after 39 weeks was estimated at 1.3 trillion ton-miles, up 2.6 percent from 2005.

 

"An economy as diverse as ours is naturally stronger in some areas than in others, and the fact that freight railroads serve virtually every major sector is reflected in rail traffic figures,” noted AAR Vice President Craig F. Rockey. "The U.S. auto sector is not doing well right now, and that has depressed rail carloadings of automotive products. On the other hand, consumer spending still appears to be solid - a factor behind the record-setting intermodal traffic in September.”

 

Canadian rail carload traffic was down 1,045 carloads (0.3 percent) in September 2006 to 305,550 carloads, up 4,170 carloads (0.4 percent) in the third quarter, and down 32,598 carloads (1.1 percent) for the year to date to 2,909,928 carloads. In September, carload gains in grain (up 7,177 carloads, or 21.9 percent) and chemicals (up 2,660 carloads, or 4.7 percent), among other commodities, offset declines in carloads of motor vehicles and equipment (down 5,451 carloads, or 18.6 percent) and coal (down 5,012 carloads, or 14.9 percent), among others.

 

Canadian intermodal traffic was up 8,552 units (4.8 percent) in September 2006 compared with September 2005 to 187,769 units; up 31,651 units (5.6 percent) in the third quarter; and up 96,278 units (5.8 percent) for the first nine months of 2006 to 1,761,895 units.

 

Carloads carried on Kansas City Southern dé Mexico (formerly Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana - TFM), a major Mexican railroad, were up 730 carloads (1.6 percent) in September 2006 to 46,817 carloads, while intermodal units carried totaled 18,858 units, up 2,283 units (13.8 percent). For the year-to-date, KCSM carloads carried were down 4.1 percent (18,866 carloads) to 441,081 carloads, while intermodal units carried were down 3.5 percent (5,615 units) to 155,627 trailers and containers.

 

For just the week ended September 30, the AAR reported the following totals for U.S. railroads: 345,299 carloads, up 2.4 percent (7,929 carloads) from the corresponding week in 2005, with loadings down 4.0 percent in the East and up 8.0 percent in the West; intermodal volume of 258,511 trailers and containers, up 4.9 percent (11,981 units) and the highest week on record; and total volume of an estimated 34.8 billion ton-miles, up 3.6 percent from the equivalent week last year.

 

For Canadian railroads during the week ended September 30, the AAR reported volume of 78,868 carloads, up 0.3 percent from last year; and 48,766 trailers and containers, up 6.6 percent from the corresponding week in 2005.

 

Combined cumulative rail volume for the first 39 weeks of 2006 on 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 16,046,131 carloads, up 0.9 percent (143,385 carloads) from last year, and 10,965,370 trailers and containers, up 6.2 percent (642,217 units) from 2005's first 39 weeks.

 

All AAR press releases are available via the Internet at www.aar.org

http://www.aar.org/ViewContent.asp?Content_ID=3859

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[b]Rail project goes through the roof [/b]

Updated 10/9/2006 9:49 PM ET

By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

 

"Big Four #2," an old railroad tunnel near Welch, W.Va., will have its top blown off to make way for modern freight trains.

 

The Norfolk Southern Railway will "daylight" the 174-foot-long tunnel as part of one of the biggest tunnel-expansion projects in the nation's history. The railroad will raise the heights of 28 tunnels, stretching more than 5 miles in total length, through the Appalachian Mountains.

 

Find this article at:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-09-railroad-tunnels_x.htm  

 

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http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/inside_edge.asp

 

Indiana Considered For CSX Intermodal Facility

Facility Could Mean Large Number of Jobs

 

Inside INdiana Business has learned that CSX Corporation has narrowed its search to Indiana and Ohio for a major intermodal facility. The company says the site would likely require several hundred acres. An intermodal facility is where cargo from trucks and trains is switched or is joined with trains that are then headed to the same location. CSX says an increase in imports from east and west coast ports is fueling the need for a new facility in the Midwest. The company recently visited one of the sites it is considering in North Baltimore, Ohio to meet with the village council and residents.  Intermodal facilities have the potential to bring large numbers of jobs to an area. CSX Spokesman Garrick Francis says vendors often locate in the same area to be closer to the facility.  Francis didn't give a timetable on when the company is expected to select a site nor did he say which Indiana cities are being considered. On Wednesday, Inside INdiana Business reported that LaPorte County officials are in negotiations with Norfolk Southern Corp. for an intermodal facility in northwest Indiana.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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You included Brook Park but not IX center should that some day get knocked down in favor of a bigger convention center downtown.  Just curious, since you took the time to figure all the other ones out..

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A Sept. 18 article "Driven To Change" in Crain's Cleveland Business (could someone post it - I don't have access to their archives) discusses the booming growth in intermodal freight traffic, linking former arch-enemy modes railroads and trucking. The article notes that Greater Cleveland's two principal intermodal terminals (recently built at Collinwood [49 acres] and in Maple Heights [70 acres]) are bursting at the seams with little room for expansion.

 

Sorry, never saw this til now.  Here's the article.

 

 

 

Driven to change

As shippers increasingly switch from truck to rail transportation, NE Ohio economic officials look to improve region’s intermodal capabilities

By DAVID BENNETT

6:00 am, September 18, 2006

 

On a typical day, tons upon tons of trucks transport finished goods and raw materials into and out of Ohio. In the face of high fuel prices, however, more manufacturers, distributors and freight forwarders are switching to rail from trucks in order to gain a competitive edge.

 

More at:

http://www.crainscleveland.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060918/REG/60915033

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You included Brook Park but not IX center should that some day get knocked down in favor of a bigger convention center downtown.  Just curious, since you took the time to figure all the other ones out..

 

IX Center site, even if the building were knocked down, would be a difficult site to serve with rail. It would require all trains serving it to back in and out of the site, and CSX would have to use NS tracks to access it, potentially putting CSX at a competitive disadvantage. Also, construction of access tracks into the site would require depressing the Berea Freeway so that the access tracks could have a grade-separated crossing of the roadway. It's a very complicated, difficult to access site.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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KJP is right on.  Railroads need (and prefer) a "run though" site where trains can enter and exit in either direction for fast loading / unloading and dispatching.  That's a difficult site to find in Cleveland, although I wonder if the old Collinwood site has enough room? I know some of it has already been built upon.

 

Don't know if you saw my earlier post, but CSX is looking seriously at a site near North Baltimore in Wood County.  The site is on a major CSX east west line and also near to I-75.  There has been some minor MIMBY response to the plan, but the railroad is working with local and state officials on a plan that includes upgraded railroad crossings and even a grade separation to eliminate a crossing that could be potentially blocked by trains.

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Collinwood is very tight, as the CSX intermodal terminal there is already near capacity.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I knew you'd come through KJP.  I'll ask another question then.  Why not have multiple intermodal facilities?  That way it wouldn't necessarily matter if a total facility's size is 200 acres.  It sounds like Rockefeller site will be turned into one via the UTS company.  Say if NS decides to set up one in Macedonia, then this would be achieved.

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This isn't directly related, but I thought I'd just note that I've been seeing Norfolk-Southern ads on tv lately (MSNBC maybe?). The ad shows a modern freight train running along side a free flowing highway and mentions the advantages of rail transport. If memory serves, the tag line is something like "N-S, the future of transportation."

 

I can't recall seeing railroad ads in my entire life, so it definitely stood out. Might mark the beginning of a broader pr campaign to change perceptions about rail.

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Both NS and Union Pacific regularly run ads on CNN and other cable channels for precisely the reasons you stated in your last line.  They are easily the two most image-conscious railroads in North America right now and have really been pushing the concept of hauling more container freight on rail as a way of taking some of the long-haul truck taffic off of the highways.

 

That's a good thing too, since even the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is predicting an overall increase in freight traffic in the U.S. of upto 75% over the next 20 years.  In their "Freight Bottom Line" report (which is available on-line at www.aashto.org), they predict that if we do nothing to put more freight on rail, the number of trucks on our highways will double.  The report reccommends that federal and state governments work with the railroads to fund and develop large scalle capacity improvements to the rail system.  They also estimate that doing so will save tens of millions of dollar annually in the costs of highway repairs and maintenance.

 

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To me, all of the above highlights the folly of Indiana's intention to extend I-69 to make it part of a direct interstate link between the Great Lakes and Mexico for long-haul trucks. We should not be investing public funds, especially while creating huge negative environmental impact, to subsidize competition against the railroads' existing, privately-funded infrastructure.

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Board OKs loan to rehab tracks from line to Fernald

BY ANNIE HALL | ENQUIRER COLUMBUS BUREAU

 

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Rail Development Commission has approved a $500,000 loan to the Indiana Eastern Railroad to rehabilitate the Ohio portion of its rail line from the Indiana-Ohio state line to the village of Fernald.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061119/NEWS01/611190353/1056/COL02

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