For Manufacturers, Retailers, Grocers and other supply chain decision makers looking to learn more about converting to intermodal rail
Demand for freight transportation is expected to rise sharply in the coming decades. The Federal Highway Administration estimates total U.S. freight shipments will rise to 28.5 billion tons in 2040 — a 45 percent increase from 20121. As demand grows, intermodal rail will play a critical role in the current and future freight transportation landscape.
The increased demand, coupled with shifting consumer buying patterns due to omni-channel retail and fulfillment trends, is causing shippers to re-evaluate their transportation modal mix. Increased government regulations of the trucking industry and driver shortages caused by an aging workforce and recruitment challenges, are amplifying the need to secure access to alternate capacity options. The ability to provide over-the-road shippers with capacity needed today, and in the future, is made possible through investing in rail infrastructure – a commitment that CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries (CSX) continue to make to shippers.
CNBC recently aired, Reworking the Rails, a segment on the importance of intermodal rail infrastructure development that highlighted ongoing investments in intermodal, including the CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. Northwest Ohio intermodal facility and the Virginia Avenue Tunnel initiative. Both of these projects are designed to expand the capacity and throughput of the CSX Transportation (CSXT) Intermodal Network. Watch the video below of CNBC’s on-site coverage of the ongoing advancements in intermodal infrastructure.
Northwest Ohio Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) expansion
The expansion of the Northwest Ohio Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) in North Baltimore, OH was completed earlier this year. The nearly $40M investment was undertaken several years earlier than originally planned in order to handle larger volume through increasing lift and processing capabilities. The Northwest Ohio ICTF is a state- of–the-art hub facility that provides shippers unparalleled access to both major and mid-tier markets.
Virginia Avenue Tunnel progressing
The Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C. is a crucial element in CSXT’s East Coast rail network. The project replaces the current single-track, single-stack tunnel with a modern double-track, double-stack, two-tunnel structure. The new tunnel will eliminate congestion on the D.C. region’s rail network and provide shippers improved intermodal connectivity throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. CSX is investing over $150M in a public-private partnership to complete the tunnel.
The Virginia Avenue Tunnel is a major component of CSX’s National Gateway project, a multi-state infrastructure initiative designed to improve the flow of rail traffic through increasing the use of double-stack trains. The National Gateway initiative will provide more efficient rail routes that link Mid-Atlantic ports with Midwestern markets. Additional benefits of the project include the conversion of more than 14 billion highway miles to rail, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by almost 20 million tons.
Investing for the future, today
As demand for freight transportation increases so does the need to not only maintain, but advance freight transportation infrastructure that allows shippers to efficiently move goods from coast-to-coast and beyond. Over the past five years, CSX has invested nearly $600 million in strategic infrastructure initiatives designed to improve the intermodal service offering and support the movement of intermodal trains across the network. The initiatives above illustrate CSX’s ongoing commitment to investing in infrastructure projects aimed at increasing intermodal fluidity and providing a better service product to its customers.
1 Association of American Railroads. (2015). Freight Railroad Capacity and Investment.