I-81-I-40 Prototype Demonstration
A Steel Interstate Prototype Demonstration will be conducted in the I-81-I-40 Corridor (the Memphis-Harrisburg Great Valley Corridor on the Norfolk Southern System). The route Rail Solution chosen for the demonstration is a part of the existing Crescent Corridor of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, which connects the mid-South to the edge of the Eastern Mega-region.
Steel Interstate Demonstration in the I-81-I-40 Corridor (the Memphis-Harrisburg Great Valley Corridor on the Norfolk Southern System)
The route Rail Solution has chosen for the demonstration of the SIS Prototype Demonstration is a part of the existing Crescent Corridor of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, which connects the mid-South to the edge of the Eastern Mega-region.
Under the Rail Solution plan, the rail lines would be realigned to at least two tracks providing bi-directional train traffic, elimination of grade crossings, frequent crossovers from highways and other modes to accommodate both freight and passenger traffic at fast speeds (intermodal freight averaging 70 mph and passenger 90 mph, with top speeds of 110 mph. Intermodal freight terminals are being built and planned for the route, and, under the Rail Solution plan, additional loading locations would be provided for loading of trucks onto trains at closer intervals.
The route parallels as closely as feasible the Interstate Highway System routes 1-40, I-75, and I-81, which carry some of the heaviest loads of truck freight traffic in the U.S. See graphic displays of truck traffic in 2002 and projection for 2035, both by the Federal Highway Administration.
Estimated Average Daily Long-Haul Truck Traffic on the National Highway System: 2002 (From the Federal Highway Administration)
Estimated Average Daily Long-Haul Truck Traffic on the National Highway System: 2035 (From the Federal Highway Administration)
Features that make the route attractive for demonstration include: its service to a region that is underserved by intermodal freight, parallel interstate highways that are crowded with truck freight, a large volume of potential truck freight that can be attracted to intermodal rail, 1000 mile length, and intersection with other feeder lines, hubs, and highways. This provides an excellent prototype demonstration route where attractiveness of both long range and short range trucks can be tested.
The route chosen offers the potential for passenger service both within the demonstration route and through connections from the demonstration route to large cities and hubs at reasonably short distances.