TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A multimillion dollar improvement project at the Norfolk Southern Airline Yard Terminal in central Toledo is complete. On Wednesday, leaders explained how it could help bring more jobs to the area.
An intermodal shipping container can be loaded directly off a train and onto a truck or a truck trailer. The same process can be used for ships. This standardization allows for more efficient shipping of goods.
The intermodal component of the Norfolk Southern terminal has seen upgrades to tracks and signals, as well as communication improvements. The more than 6,000 feet of track which was added at the yard, along with other improvements, will improve traffic flow in to, out of and around the terminal, improve communication and allow the facility to maximize its lift potential.
The rail yard now has the capacity to handle 60,000 lifts per year. The added container capacity is a key component to attracting new businesses to the area. Airline Yard coupled with the CSX Intermodal facility in North Baltimore to greatly enhance the ability to attract new businesses. The new container capacity is projected to have a state and local tax impact of nearly $3 million per year.
"The more capacity you have here, the more competitive the rates are, and you don't have those trucks moving from Chicago here. There's more a likelihood them coming on the train, as well as from the East Coast, so it makes logistics better for companies in the region," said Matt Dietrich, with the Ohio Rail Development Commission.
The $12 million improvement project is viewed as a key to job creation. The project is expected to directly support more than 400 jobs, including truck drivers, terminal workers and warehouse support personnel.
"Most importantly, we're going to bring containers into the region. We've talked to many businesses along the way as we worked on this project; they said, 'We would like to ship by containers, but the containers aren't here,'" explained Jim Tuschman.
Around $6.5 million of the funding came from stimulus money from the Federal Recovery Act, along with Norfolk Southern Airline and the state adding $2.7 million.
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