Rail company CSX plans to invest an additional $160 million over the next several years to complete the National Gateway transportation project. The National Gateway is an infrastructure project that aims at improving the flow of freight rail traffic throughout the eastern United States by increasing the use of double-stack trains. The goal is to create a more efficient rail route between Mid-Atlantic ports and Midwestern markets. This award-winning public-private partnership will clear 61 obstructions and build or expand six intermodal facilities along CSX’s network in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and the District of Columbia that together make up the National Gateway. The National Gateway is supported by a broad and diverse group of more than 300 public and private sector organizations and individuals.
All told, CSX has obligated a total of about $575 million over several years, notes Michael J. Ward, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. CSX’s National Gateway investment will be made over several years. Total project costs are approximately $850 million, and state and federal partners are investing more than $280 million to the National Gateway.
Most of the new $160 million investment from CSX will expand and improve the century-old Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C., and provide double-stack train clearances in Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
According to some estimates, in the first 30 years of operation, the National Gateway project could lead to the creation of as many as 50,000 jobs and convert more than 14 billion highway miles to rail. This could result in a reduction of nearly 2 billion gallons of fuel consumption and 20 million tons of CO2 emissions in the first 30 years of operation by reducing the number of trucks on the road.