Florida-based transportation giant CSX Corp. is planning a $272 million intermodal rail terminal in North Carolina serving the Raleigh region that it envisions as a major transportation hub to make the state’s ports more competitive.
The major freight rail infrastructure project in the Triangle project will spur economic development and help position the region as a major transportation logistics hub, says the company.
Wilmington could reap significant benefits if the intermodal freight rail hub is built in Johnston County, state transportation officials said Thursday.
The railroad operator is committed to spending $150 million for the project, which will be located in Johnston County and depends on receiving $100 million state transportation funds. CSX said the rest of the project financing will come from other infrastructure and investment programs already in place.
“We are excited about developing infrastructure within North Carolina that makes the state’s ports more competitive, lowers transportation costs for business, and promotes reliance on freight rail, the most fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly form of land transportation,” said Louis Renjel, CSX vice president, strategic infrastructure initiatives.
The terminal will be located between Selma and Micro off Interstate 95 in Johnston County. The railroad company said the project could help create as many as 1,500 jobs statewide by 2035. The 500-acre "Carolina Connector" terminal will transfer shipping containers between trucks and trains including those serving the state's ports in Morehead City and Wilmington.
CCX would link the Port of Wilmington with businesses from the Piedmont to the coast, transporting shipping containers over the nationwide rail network, the governor's office release stated.
Gov. Pat McCrory, whose administration includes DOT, released a statement suggesting the project is a likely candidate for state funds. He said the state's new transportation project scoring system emphasizes economic development and job creation.
CSX has constructed similar terminals in North Baltimore, Ohio and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. These terminals have served as a catalyst for local economic development as businesses including warehouses and distribution centers have chosen to locate new facilities in those communities.