NS trash train getting canned in 2018

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ROANOKE, Va. — A Norfolk Southern local train once heralded as the future of trash hauling is likely to suspend service this coming summer.

Known as the "Waste Line Express," the train has hauled trash from Roanoke along a 4.5-mile spur to the Smith Gap Landfill for the past 25 years. Now, though, the Roanoke Times reports that authorities at the Roanoke Valley Resource Authority say it will be cheaper over the long run to convert the rail line to a roadbed and use trucks to haul the trash instead. That conversion will cost $25 million, but will save an estimated $800,000 each year.

“Trucking was the best option, just from an economic standpoint,” Resource Authority CEO Dan Miles told the Times. “Both parties have mutually worked to see things out in, I guess, as good of a manner as they possibly can.”

The Times reports that Norfolk Southern declined to offer a comment for the story, but reported that the Resource Authority began exploring trucks as an alternative when Norfolk Southern raised its rates when the Waste Line contract came up for renewal in 2016. The additional $800,000 requested by the railroad would have increased the Resource Authority's operating budget by six percent and passed on a charge of at least two dollar to every customer. Those additional expenses prompted the Resource Authority board committed to buying land that would permit them to build a service road to the landfill's tipping point.

As many as 50 tractor trailer deliveries will replace the Waste Line Express each day.

See the original article online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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