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AYER — Automotive transportation has picked up for Pan Am Railways in its joint venture with Norfolk Southern .

Railroad industry publication Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports is reporting in its April 26 edition that intermodal auto transport traffic has increased to the point that PAS has split its typical once daily train from Chicago to Binghamton, N.Y., into two haulage trains.

One train now has 42 auto racks destined for Ayer, powered by a single Norfolk Southern locomotive. A second train, powered by three Norfolk Southern locomotives, is 41 auto rack cars long.

If left undivided, a single 83-car train chain would have stretched some 12,500 feet, or 2.3 miles.

— Mary E. Arata