, July 9, 2008 (ENS) - Two railways will construct a new $40 million intermodal and automotive rail logistics center at a former rail yard in the towns of Halfmoon, Mechanicville, and Stillwater. Work is expected to begin in the first quarter 2009 and be complete by April 2010.
The new rail terminal in Saratoga County will anchor the western end of Pan Am Southern's Patriot Corridor, a new high-speed freight rail route between the Capitol Region surrounding Albany and the Boston area that will be activated once track and signal improvements are complete.
This is a great announcement for the Capitol Region and for all of New York State," said Governor David Paterson. "I want to thank Norfolk Southern and Pan Am Railways for choosing to locate here."
"This is exactly the sort of smart investment in our transportation infrastructure that we need to make during these tough economic times, and one that will spur further economic development," the governor said.
"As soaring energy costs have forced businesses to re-think how to transport consumer goods, the rail industry has once again become an increasingly viable and affordable option," said New York State Senator Joe Bruno, a Republican who encouraged the rail companies to locate in New York.
Rising gasoline and diesel prices make rail freight an attractive option. (Photo courtesy Pan Am Railways)
"Transportation by rail is still the most economically efficient way to move freight, and even more so today with ever rising fuel prices," Bruno said.
The state will contribute $3 million to help build the terminal, Bruno said.
In May, Pan Am Railways and Norfolk Southern announced plans to create a joint venture, called Pan Am Southern.
The key component of Pan Am Southern is the Patriot Corridor, the 155 mile main line track that runs between Mechanicville and Ayer, Massachusetts.
Pan Am Southern also includes 281 miles of secondary and branch lines, including trackage rights, in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.
The new Saratoga County rail logistics center will serve as the primary distribution hub for the Patriot Corridor.
The Pan Am Southern joint venture is subject to the approval of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which is expected to issue a decision on the transaction in October.
"On behalf of the Pan Am Southern joint venture, I would like to thank Senator Bruno for his leadership and commitment to bring rail yard operations back to Saratoga County," said Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern's chief executive officer.
"With the demand for moving freight throughout the U.S. and New York's Capitol Region at unprecedented levels, this rail facility will serve as the premier distribution point for consumer products and finished automobiles for upstate New York and western New England," said Moorman.
As fuel prices rise, more shippers are turning from truck to rail travel. Moorman said the railway is seeing companies that have not used rail to ship goods in 30 years.
David Fink, Pan Am Railways' president said, "This new terminal will add much-needed freight capacity to the Capitol Region, and is critical to the success of our Pan Am Southern joint venture."
Rail officials named companies that are committed to use the new rail system, including automakers Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes Benz and Subaru, and transport companies Hanjin, J.B. Hunt and United Parcel Service.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.
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