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Unformatted text preview: l to I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley and across the
Piedmont are two mostly single-track rail lines belonging to the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Known as the Crescent Corridor, these lines have
seen a resurgence of trains carrying containers, just like most of the trucks on I-81 do. The problem is that the track needs upgrading and there are
various choke points, so the Norfolk Southern cannot run trains fast enough to be time competitive with most of the trucks hurtling down I-81.
Even before the recent financial meltdown, the railroad couldn’t generate enough interest from Wall Street investors to improve the line. The
railroad has long been reluctant to accept government investment in its infrastructure out of fear of public meddling ,
such as being compelled to run money-losing passenger trains. But now, like most of the industry, it has changed its mind, and it
happily accepted Virginia’s offer last year to fund a small portion—$40 million—of the investment needed to get more
freight traffic off I-81 and onto the...
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