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Heartland Corridor Extends Reach from Columbus to Cincinnati

Columbus, OH - Jun 22, 2010
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Norfolk Southern Gets the Green Signal to Proceed on Double Stack Clearance Project

America’s growing economy moves more and more freight on rails and Ohio is increasingly one of the critical links to keep those goods rolling. Already nearing completion of its Heartland Corridor between Chicago, Columbus and the Port of Norfolk, Virginia, Norfolk Southern (NS) is extending the corridor’s reach to Cincinnati.

NS has been given the official notice by the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) to proceed with engineering and construction on their Columbus to Cincinnati line to accommodate double-stack container trains.

The nearly $6.1 million project will involve increasing clearances at five locations between Columbus and Sharonville, and adding tracks at the Rickenbacker intermodal facility. The project is funded in part with $3.6-million from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, along with matching funding from both Norfolk Southern and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

But the project is about much more than making sure bridges and other structures are at the right height for trains to pass.

“The double stack clearance projects are essential because they remove trucks from the I-71 and I-75 corridors in southwest Ohio,” said OKI Executive Director Mark Policinski. “These projects reduce air pollution and congestion while, at the same time, improving our ability to compete in global markets. OKI is proud to have originated the partnership with Norfolk Southern and ORDC that delivers so many benefits.”

“It’s this kind of public-private investment in our rail network that enhances Ohio’s already strategic position as a distribution and logistics hub for both North America and the world,” echoed ORDC Executive Director Matt Dietrich. “The return on this investment is the economic development and jobs that grow around these intermodal freight hubs as we have already seen around the NS Rickenbacker Intermodal Yard.”

“Ohio is strategically positioned to satisfy the growing demand for high-quality intermodal freight service throughout the Midwest,” said Mike McClellan, NS vice president intermodal marketing. “The Heartland Corridor West extension to Cincinnati leverages our Heartland Corridor and the success of our Rickenbacker intermodal facility in Columbus, creating new opportunities for shippers while at the same time delivering significant economic and environmental benefits throughout Ohio, northern Kentucky and southern Indiana.”

For more information contact:

Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications at 614-644-0513

Brian Cunningham, OKI Director of Communications & Legislative Affairs at 513-619-7670

Rudy Husband, NS Corp Director of Public Relations at 610-567-3377

The Ohio Rail Development Commission is an independent agency operating within the Ohio Department of Transportation. ORDC is responsible for economic development through the improvement and expansion of passenger and freight rail services and railroad grade crossing safety. For more information about what ORDC does for Ohio, visit our website at http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Rail .