$12.29-Million Dollar Project Gets Go-Ahead from ORDC
Toledo’s role as a freight distribution point for the Midwest soon will be strengthened. An almost $12.3-million dollar project to expand capacity and upgrade Norfolk Southern’s Airline Yard has officially received the notice to proceed from the Ohio Rail Development Commission. Nearly half of the funding will come from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) with the remainder coming from the Ohio Rail Development Commission, Ohio Department of Development and NS.
Airline Yard already handles intermodal traffic, arriving and departing on NS’s fast double stack intermodal trains, but has not been able to operate at its peak capabilities because of heavy rail traffic moving through the yard, which sits on one of the heaviest-traveled rail freight corridors in the U.S. The yard also sits on a major junction for many trains traveling to and from Detroit. Because of the congestion, many intermodal trains bypass Toledo for other intermodal facilities in the Midwest.
“This project streamlines our intermodal operations in Toledo and improves the efficiency of Airline Yard,” said Bob Huffman, NS vice president intermodal operations. “With the anticipated demand to move freight by rail nearly doubling over the next 20 years, these public-private partnerships benefit our nation’s transportation infrastructure. We are grateful for the continued support of ORDC, ODOD, and the City of Toledo.”
But this project also elevates Toledo and Northwest Ohio’s strategic connection to national and international markets.
"Toledo is ideally situated on Lake Erie, on the Maumee River and at the junction of I-75 and the Ohio Turnpike”, says Toledo Mayor Mike Bell. “We have the land, an able workforce, reasonable rates and an accommodating transit flow to help move product through the region and into the marketplace. Combine this with the increased capacity at Airline Yard and all of these factors make us nationally competitive."
“With the $2.75 million Logistics and Distribution Loan, made possible through the Ohio Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan, this project will assist the Toledo area and Ohio’s freight industry,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Director of the Ohio Department of Development. “With Ohio’s prime location in the Midwest, Norfolk Southern’s Airline Yard will be an asset to businesses in the area, create jobs, and improve the state’s overall economy.”
New track capacity, signals and new equipment and machinery are among the upgrades that will be included in the project.
Funding includes $6.5 million from the ARRA, $2.75-million from ODOD’s Logistics & Distribution Stimulus Loan Program and $425,000 in ORDC Safety Section funds with the balance of funds paid by Norfolk Southern. The ORDC notice to proceed allows NS to move ahead with the purchase of construction materials.
For more information contact:
Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications at 614-644-0513
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 .