Norfolk Southern Corp. participated in the location of 73 new industries and the expansion of 27 existing industries along its rail lines in 2011. The Norfolk-based company said in a press release that the new plants and expansions represent an investment of $9.5 billion by Norfolk Southern customers. They are expected to create 6,800 jobs in the railroad’s territory and, in future years, could potentially generate more than 152,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually.
Norfolk Southern assisted state and local government and economic development officials in 18 states in helping customers identify locations for new facilities. “The energy sector was once again a major contributor to these new plants and expansions,“ said Newell Baker, assistant vice president industrial development. Across its service area, the company saw the expansion of 27 energy-related facilities in 15 states. Coal projects led the way, contributing 41 percent of the potential new rail traffic in future years. n addition, Marcellus Shale gas exploration projects increased in 2011, and Norfolk Southern expects this trend to continue.
In Virginia, the company plans to move forward with a new, $35 million intermodal yard in Montgomery County. The project, first proposed in a partnership with the state Department of Rail and Public Transportation in 2006, has been delayed by litigation filed by the county, which did not want the facility at a site near Ellison. However, a recent Virginia Supreme Court ruling cleared the way. Norfolk Southern says market conditions will determine its next step for the intermodal site, where freight would be transferred between trucks and trains.
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