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8/5/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Port of New York/New Jersey already anxious to expand yet-to-open intermodal terminal



The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to increase freight-rail capacity at an intermodal facility that hasn't even opened yet. Yesterday, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized $5 million in planning and design funds to expand the ExpressRail Elizabeth Intermodal Facility at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal — which is scheduled to open next month — from 10 tracks to 18.

The authorization also includes funds to plan and design a second lead track so trains can arrive and depart the facility simultaneously, and the partial relocation of Bay Avenue to minimize highway/rail conflicts.

"Cargo volume at the existing ExpressRail facility has grown at an average of 17 percent a year since on-dock rail operations began in 1993," said Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia in a prepared statement. "To manage this rapid growth, we're working with our industry partners on rail and port investments that will provide a more efficient gateway to accommodate the continued trade growth that is so valuable to our region."

The board also approved a 10-year contract with Millennium Rail — a joint venture between APM Terminals North America Inc. and Maher Terminals Inc., the port's two largest tenants — to operate and maintain ExpressRail Elizabeth starting on or about Sept. 1.

ExpressRail Elizabeth is part of a $600 million "ExpressRail System" development plan under which the port will build dedicated rail facilities for its major container terminals and add support track. The project includes building ExpressRail Port Newark, ExpressRail Staten Island at Howland Hook Marine Terminal and ExpressRail Corbin Street Intermodal Support Facility, and expanding rail infrastructure on Staten Island.


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