WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded the opening of the new CSX Intermodal Terminal in Northwest Ohio. The new facility spans 500 acres in Wood County, and according to CSX, will handle more than 30 trains per day and move close to 2 million containers and trailers per year. The project has already brought more than 250 jobs to Northwest Ohio with the potential for more. A member of Brown’s staff will attend the opening ceremony today in North Baltimore.

“CSX’s Intermodal Terminal, as part of the National Gateway Project, is a prime example of how Recovery Act funds can be leveraged to add new jobs and spur economic development. I was proud to support CSX’s application for Recovery Act funds, and am thrilled to see this project come to fruition,” Brown said. “This terminal has already brought more than 250 jobs to Northwest Ohio, with the potential for additional growth. North Baltimore will provide an important gateway for shippers from all across the country to send and sell their goods in the eastern United States, helping to strengthen our nation’s economy.”

The Intermodal Terminal is part of the National Gateway Project, which was supported by $30 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds, a U.S. Department of Transportation program that originated in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. The National Gateway Project is aimed at building an efficient rail route linking Mid-Atlantic ports with Midwestern markets through rail infrastructure and intermodal terminal projects. The improvements will allow trains to carry double-stacked containers, increase freight capacity and make the corridor more marketable to major East Coast ports and shippers. In total, CSX received $98 million in TIGER funds to help build the National Gateway Project, with Ohio receiving $30 million of that.

In September 2009, Senator Brown sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in support of the National Gateway project grant application, and met with the CEO of CSX to discuss the importance of locating the project in North Baltimore.

According to CSX, the North Baltimore facility will allow freight trains to arrive directly from across the nation to help speed the final delivery on consumer goods all across the eastern US. Shippers will be able to bypass choke points like Chicago, and the project will transform Northwest Ohio into a critical transportation center. In addition, the North Baltimore facility will be one of the most environmentally-friendly freight terminals in the country, with ultra-efficient cranes to reduce energy consumption; optical cargo scanners to improve terminal efficiency and minimize truck idle time, and therefore, emissions; high-pressure sodium light bulbs to reduce energy consumption and light pollution; and environmentally-friendly steel ties made from recycled steel and are themselves 100% recyclable.