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Post-Sandy supplies could best come to New York via rail, Long Island association and state senator say

Yesterday, Association for a Better Long Island (ABLI) executives and New York State Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) called on federal and state officials to transport emergency response equipment, material and gasoline by rail to Hurricane Sandy-ravaged areas in New York.

The Brookhaven Rail Terminal, which is near the Long Island Expressway, can handle thousands of tons of supplies for distribution to the region, ABLI officials and Fuschillo said in a prepared statement.

Fuschillo, who chairs the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation, has asked the state's Office of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies to consider the rail terminal as a crucial transportation asset in the coming weeks and months.

"Before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy the playbook may have said that you bring in all your repair material by truck convoy or airlift. But no one I know is following a playbook anymore, given the enormity of what we are facing and the need for maximum repairs in the shortest possible period of time," said Fuschillo.

The terminal could handle construction materials, cable and wire, large equipment, telephone poles, food and fuel without incurring a high energy cost or clogging key roads and highway bridges, said ABLI Executive Director Desmond Ryan.

"The railroad bridges are open, the infrastructure is in place to accept these loads and all that is missing is the awareness that there is an alternative to convoys of trucks coming through New Jersey, across New York City and into the hard hit bi-county area," he said.

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