The improvements will complete the company’s US$860m ‘National Gateway’ project, a double-stack rail initiative designed to create a more efficient freight transportation link between the mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest.
“The National Gateway, with its improvements to the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, Kilby Yard and along the I-95 rail corridor, will open new business opportunities for the Port and position the [Virginia] Commonwealth to be even more competitive in the global economy,” said Sean Connaughton, Virginia’s secretary of transportation.
“CSX and its public partners are working together to vastly improve the quality and flexibility of the eastern rail network,” added Michael Ward, CSX chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Total project costs are approximately US$850m, with state and federal partners investing more than US$280m. Most of the investment will expand and improve the century-old Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, DC,
The project will move more of CSX’s customers’ freight on double-stack trains between the Midwest and the Ports of Virginia, Baltimore, and Wilmington, North Carolina. This will be especially important as the Panama Canal expansion brings more traffic through these ports.
More than 61 obstructions will be cleared and six intermodal facilities along CSX’s network will either be expanded or built in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and the District of Columbia.