BNSF Railway Company and CSX Corporation’s rail transportation and intermodal companies announced plans to create a high-volume rail corridor for reliable intermodal services on the lines connecting California, Atlanta and the rest of the fast-growing Southeast Region.

The planned service will initially include two intermodal trains each day between the West Coast and Southeast in each direction. Corridor volume on the line is expected to grow with the overall expansion of the West Coast to Southeast intermodal market.

To support the planned service, BNSF will expand capacity on its rail lines connecting Avard, OK, Memphis, TN, and Birmingham, AL. CSX will expand its rail line between Birmingham and Atlanta, as well as its intermodal terminal in Fairburn, GA, near Atlanta.

The agreement also allows for continued interline (BNSF/CSX Transportation) rail service between Memphis and Florida, as well as improved connections with the Carolinas and other key Southeast destinations.

“BNSF is pleased to work with CSX and provide our customers with a direct BNSF market access and service product for the growing Southeast markets centered on Atlanta,” said John Lanigan, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of BNSF. “Additionally, we are pleased that the agreement provides the future opportunity for BNSF to establish an Atlanta-area intermodal facility on CSX to provide our customers more options for their Southeast growth.”

Clarence Gooden, executive vice president - sales and marketing of CSX Corporation, said, “This agreement enables CSX to provide more seamless and reliable service to our intermodal customers. It also complements CSX Transportation’s ongoing capacity expansions in our Southeastern markets and positions us to handle additional intermodal freight as import and domestic demand continue to rise.”

The new agreement replaces and expands on the terms of an earlier agreement signed in 2001 that would have expired in 2007. It is anticipated that the new service will begin in early 2007, with the initial capacity projects, consisting primarily of sidings and terminal expansion, to be completed by the end of that year. The agreement also allows for future capacity expansion along the corridor. (PR Newswire)