Alabama is set to launch the A-USA Corridor, a $231.6m programme of projects to enhance rail infrastructure in the central and southern regions of the US state.

This programme will be executed under a public-private partnership, with Norfolk Southern providing funds for over half of the project.

Alabama will invest $5m into the project while the rest will be funded by the present and future federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Programme (CRISI) grants via the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Under the initial phase of the A-USA Corridor, $71.6m will be invested to connect the Port of Mobile with the McCalla Intermodal Facility near Birmingham.

This 450.61km rail corridor will pass through mega economic development sites in Etowah (Little Canoe Creek), Shelby (Calera ) and Washington/Mobile (Calvert).

A warehouse will also be established at a fourth site in Jefferson County (McCalla).

The Growing Alabama Tax Credit programme aided to advance the work that was needed to make these places available for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution.

Norfolk Southern has invested $5.7m to the Etowah County Commission for revamping the Little Canoe Creek site.

A-USA Corridor project’s Phase One will include 12 specific track, signal, and yard overhaul on Norfolk Southern rail tracks between Mobile, Selma and Birmingham.

Alabama Port Authority director and CEO John C Driscoll said: “The Alabama Port Authority welcomes this vital project as we address rapid growth in the port’s container intermodal and freight business lines.

“The Norfolk Southern rail improvements will bolster capacity, reliability, and market access through the Port of Mobile for regional supply chains.”

The construction stages of the project are expected to bring economic benefits of $497.2m in gross business activity for Alabama.  

Last month, Greenbrier, United States Steel and Norfolk Southern partnered to launch a new steel gondola railcar.