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Truck-train terminal in Pa. ready to roll

August 24, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A train-and-truck terminal is scheduled to start up Sept. 4 in Chambersburg, Pa., a CSX Transportation representative said Thursday.

The terminal will have 21,000 feet of track and 1,000 parking spaces, said Jason T. French, CSX Transportation's director of public affairs.

Each day, there probably will be 150 trucks hauling goods to and from the terminal, for a total of 300 trips, French said.

The facility, which is on an 85-acre parcel, will have 35 full-time employees, including seven hired locally, he said after speaking at a meeting of area elected officials.

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French told lawmakers at the 20th Quad-State Legislative Conference in Martinsburg that the intermodal terminal - referring to more than one type of transportation - could lead to more commerce in central Pennsylvania.

"Industry often follows rail development," he said.

French and James A. Hixon, an executive vice president of law and corporate relations for Norfolk Southern Corp., were invited to the conference to talk about the future of rail development in the area.

They said the use of railroads to move freight is growing.

French cited one prediction that freight on rail lines will increase 67 percent by 2020.

That means more potential for intermodal terminals, the men said.

Facilities at which trucks haul away freight brought in by rail will help cut down on worsening highway traffic and pollution, Hixon said.

"We could take about a million truckloads a year off the I-81 corridor," he said.

At first, it seemed as if rail expansion would compete against the trucking industry, Hixon said. However, trips beyond 500 miles generally are too far for trucks.

French said double-stacking - placing rail cars on top of each other - is a long-term goal for moving freight to the west.

However, he said during an interview, there still are details to work out in some places, mainly with clearance. Either tunnels need to be raised or track needs to be lowered, he said.

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