CSX renews plans for new terminal

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This visualization shows an intermodal train facility like the one planned for Edgecombe County.

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Staff Writer

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The tracks have been switched to on again for the on-again, off-again CSX terminal in Edgecombe County.

A new intermodal transportation facility will be built to help industry get products to customers and spur growth in the region, officials with the state Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

“We are very excited to hear of CSX's announcement today,” said Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans. “The project itself will be a tremendous boost to our economy, and it will also be a major attraction for other businesses to locate here in our region.”

Evans said the new facility will be built across from N.C. Wesleyan College on land already purchased by CSX.

“It is the same property, just a smaller footprint for the facility,” Evans said.

The newly envisioned 330-acre site will be a traditional intermodal site allowing trucks to bring cargo containers to a rail yard where the containers will be transferred to trains for transport. The facility will serve many industries with efficient access to rail, said Carolinas Gateway Partnership CEO and President Norris Tolson.

“Getting products to the customer is paramount to any business’s success,” Tolson said. “We at the Carolinas Gateway Partnership are pleased that the CCX intermodal site will provide another vital link in the logistics solutions offered for our customer base in the Twin Counties and all of Eastern North Carolina. Edgecombe and Nash counties will now truly be a gateway to markets throughout the eastern part of the U.S.”

The project was scored and evaluated per North Carolina’s data-driven process that allows NCDOT to invest available funds more efficiently and effectively to enhance the state's infrastructure, while supporting economic growth, job creation and a higher quality of life.

“This facility will make Eastern North Carolina even more attractive to businesses looking to grow by offering a logistical solution to industry shipping challenges,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon. “We are pleased to help bring this intermodal facility to Eastern North Carolina.”

The facility, known as the Carolina Connector, will be built on the CSX mainline and CSX will run it. NCDOT will invest up to $118 million for site development and roadway construction. NCDOT conducted an economic impact evaluation in early June and determined the facility will have an indirect job impact of up to 1,300 jobs, said NCDOT spokeswoman Nicole Meister.

"Once the contract is executed, site development work will begin with an anticipated completion date of 2020," Meister said.

Originally, CSX intended to build what is called a “hub and spoke” intermodal facility in Edgecombe County. In November 2017, CSX put those plans on hold as the company reassessed its long-term business model.

Since then, local and state officials have remained in contact with CSX to ensure the North Carolina site remained in consideration.