Virginia agency chooses Elliston for intermodal facility

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The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation has determined that the controversial site of Elliston is the only viable location for Norfolk Southern’s intermodal facility.

The department studied 10 sites in the Roanoke area and determined that Elliston was the best suited for the facility because it was located along the Heartland Corridor, provided direct access to rail and highway traffic and would cost $35.5 million to build – the least expensive option.

But many residents in Montgomery County have opposed the pollution and traffic the intermodal facility would bring. Montgomery officials have threatened to sue if Norfolk Southern chooses the Elliston site.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has asked regional localities to provide a collective recommendation in 30 days on the proposed site.

The intermodal facility is part of the Heartland Corridor project, which will cut 200 miles off the route from Norfolk to Chicago. The project, already underway, is raising tunnels to make room for double-stacked container trains. The intermodal facility would allow cargo to be transferred between trucks and trains.

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