FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Don Canton or Don Larson
(701) 328-2200 or
Peggy Anderson, DOT
Hoeven Announces Firm Selected to Advance State Rail Freight Strategy
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. John Hoeven today announced that Norbridge, Inc. has been chosen to complete a plan for coordinating an intermodal, container-based unit train service in the state of North Dakota. Norbridge, Inc. is a management consulting firm, headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, which specializes in rail transportation and logistics studies.
“This is an important step in advancing our unified state rail freight strategy,” Hoeven said. “Our goal is to develop and implement a rail freight strategy to help all of North Dakota’s agricultural producers, processors, manufacturers and other industries move products to world markets.”
Minot, Fargo and Bismarck are working with North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and the Department of Commerce to advance a plan that includes the sharing of west-bound intermodal trains. The plan to be developed by Norbridge focuses on moving agricultural commodities or specialty crops from the Fargo and Minot areas to the west coast and Pacific Rim markets.
Bismarck is also a part of the state rail freight strategy and the Northern Plains Commerce Centre (NPCC) will soon be home to a full-service transloading facility, with intermodal services. The NPCC will be operational in June 2007, and will combine the economy of rail shipping with the flexibility of truck service.
“In approximately 90 days, Norbridge will complete phase one of the project where they will define key markets and stake holders, work with BNSF and steamship lines and analyze rail container rates,” said Francis Ziegler, NDDOT Director. “This is an essential element in providing comprehensive intermodal/transloading services in the state.”
“We have had several discussions with BNSF Railway, Minot Mayor Curt Zimbleman, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker and Bismarck Mayor John Warford regarding the state rail freight strategy,” Hoeven said. “The Minot-Fargo component, as envisioned, will work with Bismarck's NPCC to provide greater shipping and market opportunities or options for the state.