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Rail News: Passenger Rail

New York/New Jersey port lands federal transit security grant, caps off freight-rail projects

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) recently obtained a $48.3 million federal stimulus grant to enhance security on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp.’s (PATH) rail system. The authority received three-quarters of the $72.2 million available in Transit Security Stimulus Grant monies.

PANYNJ will use the proceeds to improve various PATH infrastructure. Since 9/11, the authority has spent more than $4 billion to boost security at its transportation facilities.

PANYNJ also announced it recently completed two major components of the $600 million ExpressRail project. The authority built a second lead track to the ExpressRail Elizabeth intermodal facility to enable trains to arrive and depart simultaneously, and constructed a rail support facility along Corbin Street that can handle four 10,000-foot trains daily.

The projects boosted PANYNJ’s rail capacity to handle 1.3 million containers annually, taking about 3 million trucks off state and local highways, according to the authority. The projects also will help PANYNJ attract new cargo and services to the port. For example, in anticipation of the additional capacity, Norfolk Southern Railway developed a new direct service to Harrisburg, Pa., and CSX Transportation will launch direct service to Buffalo at September’s end, PANYNJ said.

Last year, the authority set an annual on-dock rail system record by transporting 377,827 containers, up about 6 percent compared with 2007 volume. However, rail volume so far this year is down 21 percent and container volume is down 16 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/25/2009