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The National Gateway strengthens freight rail– the most fuel efficient form of surface transportation.

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What is the National Gateway?

The National Gateway is a double stack cleared, state-of-the-art rail corridor linking the East Coast's international deepwater ports and major consumption markets with the population and manufacturing centers of the Midwest. With improved clearances, new terminals and greater capacity, the National Gateway will improve the flow of freight, enhancing consumer options and augmenting the Midwest's ability to deliver manufactured goods to world markets.

How much will the National Gateway cost and how will it be funded?

The National Gateway is an $850 million infrastructure initiative that includes new intermodal terminals and extensive work to create double stack clearance along key routes. Over several years, the clearance initiative will receive public funding from the federal government, as well as those state governments that will benefit from the project.

Why should my tax dollars pay for the National Gateway?

CSX has committed to fund $575 million of the $850 million needed for terminals and clearance work and will consider increased participation. Our hope is that this public-private partnership will not only create jobs both locally and nationally but also shift freight from the publicly-maintained highway to the privately-maintained rails. The National Gateway will ease the burden on our nation's highways and will reduce highway maintenance cost. This initiative will also allow for increased port capacity and will enhance our nation's ability to distribute goods, making us more competitive in the global economy. Local intermodal centers will create jobs and open up new markets for goods. By increasing the volume and speed of inland heavy freight, inland distribution points are able to expand into larger, national service hubs, promoting economic growth.

If both public and private funds will be used to build the National Gateway, who will pay for what?

CSX has committed to funding $575 million of the $850 million needed for terminals and clearance work and will work with several states and the federal government to secure additional funding. Specifically, the company's funds will be used to build or expand several high-capacity, job-producing intermodal terminals where product shipments are exchanged between trucks and trains. CSX would work together with state and federal government agencies to fund the creation of double stack clearances beneath public overpasses along the railroad.

What does intermodal mean?

Intermodal freight transport is simply using multiple modes of transportation to move freight. When a freight container is moved across the country by rail and then picked up and put on the back of a truck so that it can be delivered to your local store, the efficiency of rail and the flexibility of trucks are best utilized.

How can a project like the National Gateway reduce congestion?

Trains can carry more cargo than trucks and reduce congestion by diverting freight from our nation's over-utilized highways onto railways. One train can carry the load of more than 280 trucks, freeing room for approximately 1,100 cars and drastically reducing highway maintenance costs. A double-stack rail route between the Mid Atlantic and the Midwest will create an additional option for transporting freight, freeing up additional highway capacity.

Explain how the National Gateway promotes our economy's growth.

Increasing port capacity and our nation's ability to distribute goods makes us more competitive in the global economy. Developing larger rail-served inland distribution centers encourages more efficient movement of goods and frees more capacity at ports. By increasing the volume and speed of inland heavy freight, inland distribution points are able to expand into larger, national service hubs, promoting economic growth.

I'm concerned about safety. Does the National Gateway improve safety for me and my community?

Rail is the safest mode of ground freight transportation. Moving freight by rail reduces congestion on our nation's highways, making them safer and more efficient. Shifting freight from the highway to the railway allows states to realize savings of up to $251 million in safety costs.

Moving freight means burning fossil fuels. What kind of impact does this project have on the environment?

Railroads are the most environmentally-friendly and energy efficient way to move goods on land. On average, railroads are three or more times more fuel efficient than the alternative, and with constant innovation, freight rail becomes more efficient every day. Trains can move a ton of freight more than 450 miles on a single gallon of fuel.

Are there any additional effects from diverting freight from trucks to trains?

Yes, including measurable environmental impacts. Shifting even 10% of long-haul freight from the highway to the railway would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12 million tons. The EPA estimates that moving freight by rail emits three times less nitrogen oxide and particulates per ton-mile than highway transportation.

When will the National Gateway be completed?

State and federal funding is critical to the completion of the National Gateway. CSX is committed to the initiative and the company has begun developing the four terminals that are a key component of the project. Once public funding is secured, the project will likely take four to five years to complete. Our hope is that the project will be complete in 2015.

Who supports the National Gateway?

CSX is leading the effort to build the National Gateway, a public-private partnership supported by a coalition of organizations interested in increasing the freight capacity between the Midwest and the East Coast. These organizations are a mix of rail companies, transportation logistics suppliers, shippers and local chambers of commerce where the National Gateway will have a positive impact. We are committed to growing our base of support and are confident that we will succeed in doing so as we communicate the benefits of the National Gateway.

What can I do to support the National Gateway?

Let your voice be heard! Click on the "Support the Effort" tab on and choose the option that is the best fit for you. You can sign up to receive news and updates, write a letter to your representative, submit a story about how the National Gateway would benefit you or spread the word and email information about the National Gateway to your friends.