SELMA, N.C., Jan. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CSX (Nasdaq:CSX) today announced plans to develop a major freight rail infrastructure project in Johnston County that will spur economic development in the region and help position eastern North Carolina as a major transportation logistics hub. The proposed intermodal rail terminal, the Carolina Connector, or CCX, will be a state-of-the-art facility that will create distinct competitive advantages for North Carolina businesses and ports while serving the metro-Raleigh area – one of the South’s largest and fastest growing markets.
“We are excited about developing infrastructure within North Carolina that makes the state’s ports more competitive, lowers transportation costs for business, and promotes reliance on freight rail, the most fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly form of land transportation,” said Louis Renjel, CSX vice president, strategic infrastructure initiatives. “CSX has committed to working closely with Johnston County officials and community members to build an environmentally responsible terminal that benefits the local economy and surrounding area.”
Once operational, the terminal will serve as an intermodal transportation hub in the South, transferring a broad range of goods – from food to furniture to appliances – between trucks and trains. Intermodal transportation combines the fuel efficiency and cost-effectiveness of rail and the door-to-door flexibility of trucks, thereby reducing transportation costs for businesses in the region while alleviating congestion on North Carolina roads and highways.
The terminal is expected to spur economic development in eastern North Carolina by enhancing transportation infrastructure, creating jobs and encouraging industrial growth. The terminal is forecast to produce more than $329 million in public benefits for the state over 30 years. The construction of the terminal is estimated to create 250 to 300 short-term construction jobs. Over time, up to 1,500 long-term jobs will be created statewide as a result of this development.
“This terminal will support existing industry in Johnston County, as well as attract additional manufacturing, distribution and industrial businesses to the area,” said Chris Johnson, director of Johnston County Economic Development. “Johnston County is committed to working with CSX and the local community to ensure all parties benefit from this project and that the unique character and spirit of our county and community are protected and enhanced.”
Total estimated project costs for CCX are $272 million. CSX is committed to investing $150 million – the majority of funds needed to complete the project. The execution of the project is contingent on securing $100 million in infrastructure investment funds that have been proposed in the state of North Carolina’s Strategic Transportation Investment (STI) process. The balance of the funding will come from other infrastructure and investment programs that are currently in place.
CSX has constructed similar terminals in North Baltimore, Ohio and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. These terminals have served as a catalyst for local economic development as businesses including warehouses and distribution centers have chosen to locate new facilities in those communities.
Earlier today CSX officials began reaching out to landowners in Johnston County to secure options on property east of Selma and close to Interstate 95 where the proposed facility would be constructed.
To learn more about the CCX terminal and its benefits or to contact CSX with questions, please visit www.CSX.com/CarolinaIntermodal.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. In North Carolina, CSX operates and maintains nearly 1,800 miles of track and employs approximately 1,120 workers. In 2014, CSX handled more than 915,000 carloads of freight on the rail network in North Carolina. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com, on Facebook (http://facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).