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CSX Fairburn Intermodal Expansion

Fairburn, Georgia

Surface Sheetflow Runoff - 2.5 Miles of Slotted Drain




AEC, Inc.


AMES Construction Inc.



Technical Description:

  • Product: Slotted Drain™
  • Diameter(s): 12-inch to 30-inch
  • Length: 13,159 LF (2.5 miles)

CSX Transportation is a Class I freight railroad operating in the eastern United States and is a leading supplier of rail-based freight transportation in North America. In 1999, CSX completed an intermodal center in Fairburn, Georgia to help promote the city as a center for distribution and logistics industries. The facility has helped to attract several related logistics operations, aiding in the additional creation of jobs and investments in the area.

In 2018, CSX expanded the Fairburn CSX Intermodal Center to add capacity in an area due to the increased growth in available warehouses.The project included the extension of seven existing process tracks and one existing support track. Two crane rails were also installed to support a wide-span rail mounted crane parallel above the process and support tracks.The work resulted in increased facility capacity from 350,000 lifts a year to 750,000 lifts a year.

The expansion of the rail yard led to the need to handle large amounts of sheet flow from storm events. This was best achieved by utilizing Slotted Drain™ pipe, a surface runoff system manufactured by Contech Engineered Solutions, connected with grated junction boxes.One section of Slotted Drain has the capacity to accept 50% more flow than a standard 2’x2’ frame and grate thereby cutting down on the number of grate inlets needed and making grading more cost-effective. As an added benefit, Slotted Drain can be laid in 20-foot sections, compared to alternate products that are laid in 2-foot sections, thereby providing a greater advantage in decreasing installed costs.

As with all railroad and intermodal facilities, the ability to handle heavy live loads of various types while meeting AREMA standards, was critical in the decision to use Contech Slotted Drain. Further, the ability to handle such live loads under minimum cover allowed the engineer to maximize the available grade for surface water collection across very long runs of drain, allowing the Contech Slotted Drain to capture large amounts of storm sheet flow within the limited site constraints of the rail yard.

Recognizing that the Contech Slotted Drain system met all the structural site requirements while increasing the flow capacity by replacing curbs and drain basins with continuous lengths of Slotted Drain to open up an obstruction-free single grade area to enhance effectiveness and improve safety, the engineer of record, AEC, Inc., incorporated a 13,159 LF Slotted Drain system (roughly 2.5 miles) into the intermodal system expansion to address the increased sheet flow anticipated in the yard.

The entire Slotted Drain system was installed and completed on schedule.

Technical Description:

  • Product: Slotted Drain™
  • Diameter(s): 12-inch to 30-inch
  • Length: 13,159 LF (2.5 miles)

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