Eastern railroad CSX Corp. said late last week it has begun operations at a new intermodal facility in Pittsburgh.
The facility occupies a 70-acre site in Stowe Township and McKees Rocks Borough, Pa., that once served as a yard for the old Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad. CSX will connect the Pittsburgh facility to more than 40 intermodal markets across North America, it said.
CSX said the Pittsburgh intermodal terminal is the last key component of its "National Gateway Initiative," an $850 million public-private sector partnership to create a network of double-stack rail and intermodal terminals connecting East Coast markets to consumers, manufacturers, and businesses in the Midwest.
Through the National Gateway Initiative, more than 95 percent of CSX's intermodal network now has sufficient tunnel clearance to handle trains with double-stacked containers aboard, thus maximizing the service's potential efficiency because each car can handle more cargo, the Jacksonville-based company said.
Concerns over the reliability of CSX's intermodal service led federal rail regulators over the summer to demand the company submit an operating plan to demonstrate how it would resolve the problems. E. Hunter Harrison, who became CSX's president and CEO in March, has struggled to effectively implement his "precision scheduled railroading" model, which adds fluidity to a network by pinpointing exactly how and when trains move from start to finish, largely due to the complexities of CSX's geographically dense network. The railroad has said, however, that key metrics such as terminal dwell time, train speeds, and the number of cars online have improved sequentially over the past three to five weeks.