Freight Rail

freight train

Freight rail service in Franklin County is provided by Norfolk Southern Corporation. One of the nation's premier transportation companies, Norfolk Southern has a strong historical relationship with Franklin County in the Roanoke Valley. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serving every major container port in the Eastern United States and providing superior connections to western rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is North America's largest rail carrier of metals and automotive products.

Bulk Transfer Terminal

Franklin County is served by the Norfolk Southern Thoroughbred Bulk Transfer Terminal in Roanoke. This terminal, with forty rail spots, accommodates dry bulk, liquid bulk, food grade bulk, and hazardous materials. This distribution center is designed for use by businesses located in the Roanoke area and can:

  • Assist companies who are currently shipping only by truck with rail service options
  • Supplement existing rail capacity for rail customers with transload/truck deliveries
  • Allow for the re-loading of products to comply with loading requirements, clearances, etc.
  • Provide an opportunity for delayed shipments to be unloaded to meet deadlines
  • Allow companies to be closer to their final customers with a high level of responsiveness from the production site

More Information

The facility is secured, fenced, paved, and provides truck scales for use by transload partners for bulk transfer. The terminal is open Monday through Friday from 6 am to 6 pm. Norfolk Southern has a proven track record of assisting new and expanding companies in Franklin County with all varieties of rail needs. This includes the preparation of conceptual plans, working through logistical needs and questions, and helping to secure state funding for track/siding construction. As a Franklin County business, these services are all complimentary.

Typical Freight Shipping Time

Norfolk, Virginia1 day
Atlanta, Georgia2 days
Baltimore, Maryland3 days
Chicago, Illinois3 days
Cleveland, Ohio3 days
Detroit, Michigan3 days
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania3 days
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 3 days
St. Louis, Missouri3 days
New York, New York4 days
Boston, Massachusetts4 days