Atlanta Declared "Freight Rail Smart Zone"
Governor Perdue Joins Railroad Leaders In Recognizing Atlanta's Role As A
Consumer Goods Distribution Powerhouse
ATLANTA - September 24, 2003 - The City of Atlanta today was designated as
the nation's first-ever "Freight Rail Smart Zone" for its efficient use of
freight rail to move consumer goods and products.
Governor Sonny Perdue and Charles Graves, Commissioner of Planning and
Development for the City of Atlanta joined the Association of American
Railroads (AAR), along with CSX Corporation and Norfolk Southern
Corporation, to recognize Atlanta for its role as a vital freight rail hub.
Consumer goods represent more than 60 percent of all the products moving
through Atlanta on more than 2 million freight cars each year. The public
benefits from the environmental and traffic congestion relief that comes
from using rail to transport goods instead of trucks. The 2 million
railcars moving through Atlanta each year ensures that 6 million trucks
aren't traveling on the highways and interstates of Georgia's capital city.
"Most people would be surprised by the wide variety of consumer products
that today's freight railroads are moving," said Governor Perdue. "They're
hauling computers, cars, clothing, appliances and food - items that
consumers need for their homes and businesses need to operate. Freight rail
is more connected to consumers and businesses than ever before."
CSX and Norfolk Southern transport many goods produced in Georgia, including
carpet, cereal, outdoor grills, lighting fixtures, paper products and
peaches. Together, they serve nearly 500 Atlanta-area companies, many of
them household names like Georgia Power, UPS, Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Ford
Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Georgia Pacific, Owens-Corning, Ralston Purina and Kellogg.
Both railroads have recently opened state-of-the-art intermodal facilities
in the Atlanta area - CSX's Fairburn Intermodal Terminal south of the city
and Norfolk Southern's Whitaker Intermodal Terminal in Austell, the largest
intermodal facility east of the Mississippi. Intermodal combines the
economic and environmental benefits of freight rail with the flexibility of
trucks, loading trailers and containers on rail equipment for long distance
The new intermodal facilities are not only positioned to serve current
businesses in and around the Atlanta area, they play a pivotal role in
attracting new industry and creating new jobs in the Atlanta area. Since
1994, Norfolk Southern and CSX have helped locate 72 new industries to the
Atlanta area. Combined, CSX and Norfolk Southern employ roughly 9,000
With U.S. freight demand expected to nearly double in the next 20 years,
intermodal transportation is the best way to handle the growth, noted Edward
R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads.
"Freight rail movement of consumer goods as part of the intermodal network
has been the fastest growing segment of the U.S. freight railroad industry
over the past 10 years," said Hamberger. "Our own economic projections
indicate that freight rail's intermodal shipments will surpass coal as the
biggest revenue producer for railroads for the first time in history within
the next six months. Atlanta is really leading the way in this
transformation. And it couldn't happen without the support of the state and
city governments who have helped make it possible for the industry to invest
in intermodal rail improvements."
BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA
"FREIGHT RAIL DAY"
WHEREAS: Intermodal transportation is increasingly important in our everyday lives; and
WHEREAS: More than 60 percent of all the products moving through Atlanta are consumer goods; and
WHEREAS: More than 90 percent of these consumer goods are transported via intermodal service, of which freight rail
plays an inceasingly integral part; and
WHEREAS: The Association of American Railroads has designated Atlanta the first Freight Rail Smart Zone
for its efficient use of freight rail to move consumer goods and products; now
THEREFORE: I, SONNY PERDUE, Governor of the State of Georgia, do hereby proclaim September 24, 2003, as FREIGHT RAIL DAY
in Georgia and call upon all residents of this great state to join me in recognizing intermodal freight rail for its vital
role in our state's economy and our daily lives.
In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Executive Department to be affixed this 24th day
of September in the year of our Lord two thousand three.
SONNY PERDUE, Governor
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