Northwest intermodal project derailed

November 27, 2007
A second railroad has said it isn't interested in building an intermodal facility in LaPorte County in northwestern Indiana.

The Canadian National Railway expressed its lack of interest this week, according to the Post-Tribune of Merrillville. Last week, CSX Corp. announced it would build an intermodal site in northwestern Ohio and would not pursue one in LaPorte County, the newspaper reported.

The setbacks prompted county commissioners yesterday to say they no longer will spend tax dollars pursuing the project.

The facilities, which exchange freight between trains and trucks, are considered economic development prizes both for the hundreds of direct jobs they create and the development created as companies expand nearby to take advantage of efficient shipping.

Experts had said a facility would need a couple of hundred acres, and that spin-off businesses might occupy thousands more.

In September, a CSX official speaking to the annual Indiana Logistics Summit in Indianapolis said the LaPorte area was of interest to the railroad because it is near a major city, is on a high-density main rail line and has excellent highway access.

However, landowners and others in the LaPorte area mustered heated opposition to the notion.

Officials in Evansville and Terre Haute still hope to land intermodal facilities.

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