Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg commemorated the reactivation of the Staten Island Railroad, an eight-mile railway connecting Staten Island to the national freight-rail network.
The New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC) and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) jointly spent $75 million to provide direct rail access to the New York Container Terminal at Howland Hook and other Staten Island businesses. The project which included the modernization of a lift bridge also will enable the Staten Island Transfer Station to transport solid waste via rail, helping eliminate 100,000 truck trips per year.
In 2004, NYCEDC and PANYNJ began reactivating Staten Island Railroad, which closed in 1991. Last month, the agencies entered into an agreement with CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Conrail to provide rail services to the island. Trains began operating on April 2.
The reactivation of the Staten Island Railroad creates tremendous economic development opportunities, said Bloomberg in a prepared statement.
Meanwhile, the City of New York Department of Sanitation marked the opening of the $40 million Staten Island Transfer Station, a truck-to-rail solid waste transfer facility located on the site of the former Fresh Kills landfill. The facility will compact waste into sealed 20-foot containers, which will be loaded onto flat cars and hauled via rail to a South Carolina landfill.