Ground has been broken for the new Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility in Rossville, Tenn. The $105 million facility is part of the multi-state $2.5 billion Crescent Corridor initiative to establish an efficient, high-capacity intermodal freight rail route between the South and the Northeast on Norfolk Southern's rail network.

The new facility will be built on 380 acres in Fayette County and is expected to open in late 2012. The facility is the second of four new Crescent Corridor intermodal terminals to be constructed or improved over the next two years. It will be an anchor of Norkfolk Southern's Corridor rail route.

The terminal will use the latest in gate and terminal automation technology, which shortens the waiting time for trucks entering the terminal, reducing exhaust emissions and improving truck driver productivity. Low-emission cranes will operate within the terminal. NS also will construct the main administration building to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification (LEED) standards.

The Crescent Corridor is a program of independent projects and improvements geared toward creating a high-capacity, 2,500-mile intermodal route from New Jersey to Louisiana that touches 26 percent of the nation's population and 30 percent of the nation's manufacturing output. It provides the shortest intermodal double-stack route between the South and the Northeast. Projected transit savings benefits include:

* 1.3 million long-haul trucks diverted from interstates
* $146 million in accident avoidance savings
* 1.9 million tons in CO2 reduction
* $575 million in congestion savings
* $92 million in highway maintenance savings
* 169 million gallons in fuel savings