Additional CSX Funding for National Gateway Project Solidifies Ohio’s Connections to East Coast Ports
Columbus (Thursday, May 19, 2011) – The announcement of an additional $160-Million in CSX funding for the National Gateway Project is being hailed as great news for Ohio. Most of the $160 million investment announced late Wednesday will expand and improve the century-old Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C. and provide double-stack train clearances in Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
“This is a huge development toward solidifying the intermodal freight connection to East Coast ports for Ohio businesses”, says Ohio Rail Development Commission Executive Director Matt Dietrich. “Coupled with the recent opening of the state-of-the-art CSX intermodal yard at North Baltimore, today’s announcement deepens an investment that puts Ohio at the hub of moving freight in both North America and the global market.”
It was just last December that joint agreements for the initial phase of the project were signed between CSX, the ORDC and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Eastern Federal Lands Division as well as the states of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. That initial phase raises clearances to create a double-stack container rail corridor from Ohio through West Virginia, Pennsylvania and in to Maryland. In total, 40 clearance projects will be completed, including track lowering, bridge replacements, raisings or removals and work on several tunnels to create greater clearance for the taller double-stack trains.
Some of that work is already underway in Ohio. The work to improve vertical clearances under bridges and through tunnels effectively doubles the freight capacity of the rail line.
Dietrich credits the rapid progress of the National Gateway to fielding a solid project team.
"ORDC’s structure allows us to engage in this type of public-private partnerships that play such a critical role in the development of this project”, says ORDC’s Dietrich. “We couldn't be happier with the relationships we have established with CSX, the other states and FHWA EFLD. Without this team effort, this project could not become a reality."
An opinion echoed by CSX.
“Through the National Gateway, CSX and its public partners are working together to vastly improve the quality and flexibility of the eastern rail network,” said Michael J. Ward, CSX chairman, president and chief executive officer. “With this new $160 million commitment, CSX will have obligated a total of about $575 million over several years to better meet the needs of our customers, our states and our ports.”
For more information contact:
Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications,
at 614-644-0513 or