CN, Norfolk Southern Eye MidAmerica Corridor

CN (NYSE: CNI) and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) have unveiled plans to create a "MidAmerica Corridor," which would speed up the movement of shipments between the Midwest and Southeast. The railroads want to establish shorter and faster routes to move merchandise and coal traffic between Chicago, St. Louis, Kentucky and Mississippi.

Under the MidAmerica Corridor plan, Norfolk Southern (NS) will haul CN freight between Chicago and St. Louis, reducing the distance between these points for CN shipments by 60 miles and providing improved connections to other rail carriers through the St. Louis gateway.

The initiative will also allow NS to use CN's routes between St. Louis and Fulton, Ky., as part of a new, more-efficient route from the Midwest to the Southeast, saving more than 50 miles on NS shipments.

The MidAmerica Corridor will also shorten the NS Chicago-Birmingham route by almost 100 miles as a result of CN hauling NS freight between Chicago and Fulton.

CN and NS plan to create a new coal gateway at Corinth, Miss., to better serve NS' southeastern utility plants and the CN's Illinois Basin coal producers.  As part of that, the West Tennessee Railroad will be upgraded between Fulton and Corinth to handle heavier shipments and additional rail traffic.

The project is subject to approval by the Surface Transportation Board and the execution of definitive agreements between the railroads.