The Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) have jointly launched a new service that will shorten by one day the transit time for standard intermodal freight from the southeastern U.S. to Los Angeles. The new route complements a similar eastbound service begun in May of this year. The coast-to-coast service is part of the railroads' plan to improve capacity, service quality and speed by shifting domestic intermodal traffic to a new, shorter route over the Shreveport, La. gateway. The move began with completion of the first phase of improvements on the Meridian Speedway, a direct-rail corridor between Meridian, Miss. and Shreveport that is jointly operated by NS and Kansas City Southern. UP and NS ran successful test trains in the corridor last December. In shifting the freight service from the Memphis, Tenn. gateway, they have eliminated nearly 130 miles from the route. The new westbound service will provide fourth-morning availability for BlueStreak intermodal shipments from Atlanta to Los Angeles, fifth morning from Charlotte, N.C. and Jacksonville, Fla., and sixth morning from Miami. For a limited time, the railroads are offering an "on-time-or-free" guarantee on the BlueStreak Superflyer service between the Southeast and Los Angeles.
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