As it opens, the $68.5 million facility occupies 175 acres and will handle more than 250,000 containers and trailers a year. There is a great deal of capability to expand the terminal as traffic volume grows. Property adjacent to the terminal offers possibility for creation of container yards and ancillary operations.
At present the Rickenbacker Terminal is served with six daily trains—four to and from Chicago and two to Norfolk. Until the entire containerized double-stack-capable Heartland Corridor is completed in 2010, trains to and from Norfolk take a longer route by way of Harrisburg, PA or Knoxville, TN. The Corridor is a public-private partnership that includes Norfolk Southern, the federal government and the governments of Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia.
Wick Moorman, the railroad’s CEO, claims the Terminal opening, “punctuates Norfolk Southern’s commitment to serve the growing intermodal demands of Central Ohio and Midwest shippers. We commend the Columbus Regional Airport Authority for its vision, tenacity and partnership in bringing this facility to fruition, and for its awareness of the vital role intermodal transportation can play in economic development.”
The new facility uses the most current gate and terminal automation technology. Projections are that expansion will ultimately permit 400,000 annual cargo transfers and that within 10 years the intermodal facility will generate $660 million in transportation costs for shippers.