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A new intermodal rail service will serve the Port of Wilmington and CSX's intermodal terminal in Charlotte, N.C., Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced yesterday.The "Queen City Express" will be the only direct freight-rail service into the greater Charlotte area from a Southeast port, McCrory said in a press release.CSX eventually will provide direct access from the Port to the Carolina Connector terminal in Edgecombe County, the governor said. That facility is expected to create 1,500 jobs throughout the state."CSX is proud to partner with the state of North Carolina to bring the Carolina Connector to eastern North Carolina which will provide cheaper, faster and more environmentally-friendly connections for North Carolina's businesses and ports to domestic and international markets,” said CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward. "This critical infrastructure project will create jobs and spur economic development in the region, positioning eastern North Carolina as a transportation and logistics hub in the south," Ward added.The service marks the return of intermodal rail to the port, expanding its reach "to an under-served market," said North Carolina Ports Authority Executive Director Paul Cozza. A recent North Carolina Ports survey found that 90 percent of customers need intermodal service."Enhancing North Carolina's rail service will decrease transportation costs for businesses and provide numerous statewide economic and environmental benefits," said North Carolina Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson.
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