I-81 Freight Rail Study and Norfolk Southern Cresent Corridor compared and contrasted in new paper for CTB
Because both are rail intermodal efforts
affecting the I-81 Corridor, there has been public confusion over
what these two projects are and how they differ. In a new paper
prepared for the Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting in Roanoke
on November 7, RAIL Solution details the differences and highlights
some curious ways the new NS direction departs from the vision of
its own CEO, Wick Moorman (2nd item below).
"I-81 Crescent Corridor" Initiative
RAIL Solution has been asked our views on
Norfolk Southern's recently announced "I-81 Crescent Corridor"
initiative. To understand its significance, one has to separate what's
old from what's new.
Norfolk Southern President, Chairman, and
CEO Charles "Wick" Moorman made a major address at Hotel
Roanoke, which he called a "coming out party" for the
railroad's I-81 strategy.
A Multi-State Plan Needs Multi-State Involvement
Solution is reaching out to Tennesseans,
Pennsylvanians, Marylanders, and
“Our neighbors need to know
that the H-1581 process offers opportunity
for significant transport- ation
improvements at less cost to taxpayers,
highway users and our environment
up and down the I-81 Corridor. These
citizens need to be pressing their
transportation planners to gain
access to the intermodal rail planning
RAIL Solution Exec. Dir.
RAIL Solution is a grassroots coalition of over 350 individuals
and 10 citizens’ groups promoting railroads as a safe, clean, efficient
carrier of freight and people. We propose this long-term vision —
employ faster, upgraded rail service in concert with targeted highway
improvements. This combination ensures the well-being of the citizens
and businesses of Valley of Virginia and Southwest Virginia. Our
transportation plan promotes public health and safety while preserving
the financial, environmental, and cultural integrity of our homes, farms,
businesses, and communities.
RAIL Solution At a Glance:
Railways would be upgraded to accommodate growing freight traffic, primarily
by building dual tracks and eliminating all road crossings and other bottlenecks.
Higher speed rail lines would move freight containers, trailers, or whole
tractor-trailer rigs, and potentially passenger trains, quickly through
the I-81 corridor.
The RAIL Solution plan also calls for targeted improvements to the dozen
or so places on I-81 where accident rates are high. This would significantly
improve the highway’s safety record. “Climbing lanes”
on steep hills and extra passing lanes would be added in chronically congested
areas. Selected dangerous interchanges would be redesigned and more funds
and attention would be directed to traffic management and enforcement.
The improved railway could easily exceed the carrying capacity of the
proposed truck tollway and truly separate freight traffic from cars, with
much room for growth at less than half the estimated highway expansion
cost, while avoiding most of the 15 years of construction danger and disruption
required under the STAR plan.
Tracks placed alongside the highway
June 7th at 10am
CSX's Innovative I-95 Corridor Proposal
Rail: Perpetually Underfunded
Tier 1 EIS
-Overview of DEIS.
-VDOT I-81 Site
-Write to VDOT>
-EIS Process Overview
-Letters to Editor
RAIL Solution's I-81 Transportation Issues & Priorities
Maximize Rail/ Minimize Road Expansion
-VA Gen. Assembly
-Analysis & Reports