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CN invests US$100 million in Memphis rail yard
Increases speed and efficiency of freight switching operationsCN has announced a US$100- million project to rebuild and upgrade its Johnston Yard freight train switching facility in this city.
Memphis, a major freight distribution hub, is a key operating center on CN’s North American network, an important destination for freight traffic on its system, and the gateway to CN’s rail operations in the Gulf of Mexico region. The city is also the largest US location outside of Chicago where CN interchanges traffic with four of the major US Class 1 railroads.
CN’s Johnston Yard project will reconfigure the freight car switching facility, creating a more efficient layout that will include a small hump over which freight cars will be directed by gravity into sorting tracks for train make-up.
E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive of CN, said, “Our US$100-million Johnston Yard project is a solid investment in the Memphis economy and CN’s future in the US South. The yard has experienced steadily increasing traffic volumes since CN’s acquisition of Illinois Central in 1999 and the recent implementation of CN’s routing protocols with the other major railroads in Memphis. This sizable investment will position Johnston Yard to handle existing and future traffic growth in the region, quickly and efficiently.”
Johnston Yard, constructed in the early 1900s and named for former Illinois Central president Wayne A. Johnston (president 1945- 1966), currently sits on roughly 345 acres of land. CN acquired an additional 88 acres of adjacent property for the yard upgrading project. New tracks, switches, support buildings and equipment will be installed, along with a new yard tower, car shop, and locomotive servicing facility.
The new Johnston Yard will have a capacity of more than 3,100 freight cars. It will have 45 tracks in the classification yard, three 10,000-foot departure tracks, and eight 5,000-foot receiving tracks. When the reconfigured yard is in operation, it will be able to handle 35 or more freight trains per day.
Ground was broken on the project in early February, 2006. The opening of the new yard is targeted for late 2008.
The reconfigured yard will follow the opening in 2005 of the new US$35-million CN-CSX Transportation Gateway Intermodal Terminal at the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park in Memphis.
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