Heartland Corridor Opening A Great Day for Ohio Business
ORDC Was There With Support From the Beginning
Columbus (Thursday, September 9, 2010) – When the idea of a high-speed freight rail corridor for containerized freight between Columbus and the Port of Norfolk, Virginia was first brought up the Ohio Rail Development Commission was the first to step up to partner with the West Virginia Port Authority..
“That initial investment of $25,000 to see if it was feasible was our commitment to what our agency viewed as a good idea”, says ORDC Executive Director Matt Dietrich. “But the return on that seemingly small investment is the $191-million dollar Norfolk Southern Heartland Corridor that opens for business this week and the first train rolls in this Friday. This new rail corridor means Ohio and Midwest shippers have a fast, efficient link to world markets and those markets to us.”
Dietrich points to the growth in and around NS’s Rickenbacker Intermodal Yard, which opened in 2008 just after work on the Heartland Corridor began. The yard is already undergoing an expansion of track capacity and is attracting a growing number of distribution and logistics companies bringing new jobs for the trucking industry and warehousing operations, says Dietrich.
“Ohio has been instrumental in bringing the Heartland Corridor to fruition,” said Bill Harris, NS resident vice president for Ohio. “We commend the Ohio Rail Development Commission for its early recognition of the Corridor’s economic and environmental benefits and its continued support and advocacy of freight rail initiatives throughout the state.”
The ORDC approved a grant of $836,355 in 2006 for Ohio’s share of the project to create higher clearances for double stack, overseas shipping containers. In doing so, Ohio joined the states of Virginia and West Virginia in providing a portion of the match for a $90-million appropriation from the U.S. Congress.
- $191 million for clearance work to increase clearances in 28 tunnels and 24 overhead obstructions such as bridges.
- $70 million for Rickenbacker Intermodal Yard construction.
- $60 million for railroad relocation at APM terminal in Portsmouth, VA (not a NS project)
- Project duration: 3 years.
The completed Heartland Corridor:
• Reduces travel distance for double-stack container trains between Columbus and Norfolk by 300 miles.
• Opens new and expanded, two-way double-stack service between Chicago-Columbus-Norfolk, saving shippers and the railroad an estimated $200-million annually.
• Increased intermodal rail service will result in reduced fuel consumption and reduced air pollution by the reduction in long-haul truck traffic.
• Corridor improvements in Ohio include increased clearances for bridges at Ashville, Lubeck, Glen Jean and Ironton.
For more information contact: at 614-644-0513
Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications,