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A study of the freight train terminal can keep the project percolating.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
A pregnant pause has fallen over the proposed intermodal freight train terminal near Elliston. No surprise there. The economy has changed greatly since Norfolk Southern Corp. announced the $36 million project in 2006.
But regional leaders anxious to see construction begin should not despair. Nor should they just assume that it will eventually fall into place and forget about it.
Enormous new changes are on the horizon, ones that could recharge the initiative. Community officials should do all they can to talk it up, showing their support and reminding potential customers of the value the freight yard could have for their businesses.
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission will conduct a study, to be completed in the spring, updating information on the possible impact the project would have on the local economy and transportation infrastructure.
Although the economy remains soft, an expansion of the Panama Canal that will double its capacity by 2015 should send mega-sized ships into Virginia’s deep-water port. Norfolk Southern has smartly invested time and effort into the Heartland Corridor to ease transport of freight from the port to U.S. markets.
The project remains pregnant with possibilities. It’s worth talking about.
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