"We always felt like this was more of a state issue than a Norfolk Southern issue," says Steven Evans, Norfolk Southern vice president for ports and international.
That's not to say they haven't pitched solutions of their own.
The company has offered its design and rail experience to state leaders, pouring over hundreds of scenarios and dozens of sites.
Routes to the south of the new port are monopolized by competitor CSX, and this proposal would only cement the company's control.
"We've told everyone that anything that comes in on the south puts us at a disadvantage," Evans
"In order to be competitive, we've got to come from the north."
Norfolk Southern's existing transfer yard is, ironically, about a block from North Charleston City Hall
says that trains are already delayed 45-60 minutes at a time because of a nearby connection with CSX
The concern is that delays will be exacerbated at a CSX-controlled facility because its trains will go first.
"We'd be completely at their mercy," says Evans
"Anything that comes from the south and we lose control of our business."
"This can be done without blocking us out," Evans