Short line railroads in Indiana and Pennsylvania were recently honored by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association for their efforts to design and enact innovative and successful marketing initiatives.
The Indiana Rail Road was cited for its partnership with Canadian National to provide direct intermodal service from the West Coast, extending its intermodal markets into southern Indiana and the Ohio Valley.
INRD invested $2.5 million to upgrade facilities, including construction of a two-track intermodal pad and a five-acre container yard at its Senate Avenue Terminal.
The facility is open six days a week and is within a day’s drive of 80 percent of U.S. consumers.
Containers move from Shanghai, China, to Indianapolis via the Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, in 21.5 days on average, which is the fastest overall transit time in the industry.
The service handled 12,563 containers in 2014 and 17,233 containers in 2015. CN and INRD expect to move 18,000 containers in 2016.
The Nittany & Bald Eagle, and the Buffalo & Pittsburgh teamed up with Norfolk Southern to move lime pellets from Graymont Lime at Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania, to the Homer City Generating Station at Homer City, Pennsylvania.
The lime has transformed the plant from one of the nation’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants to a model of how such power plants can economically reduce pollution.
The three railroads cover the 190-mile haul with 45-car trains operating on a three-and-a-half day schedule.
The service is expected to deliver more than 3,000 cars annually of lime.
Reading & Northern’s latest “Rapid Response” example is its rehabilitation of the Old Forge Warehouse near Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The facility is used to move wood pulp to a large paper mill. The warehouse needed to be located where the wood pulp could be delivered on a next-day basis.
More than 350 carloads were handled during the first six months of operation.
“The four railroads we honored for the 2015 work are risk takers in the very best sense of the word. They work daily to bring new customers to their lines with reliable connections, creative use of real estate assets and flexible service offerings. And in the end, they keep small towns and small shippers connected to the national railroad system,” said Linda Bauer Darr, president of the ASLRRA. “Their success is the result of a commitment to never standing still and never fearing change.”