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Rail News: Intermodal

New York-area port authority to build rail transload facility, improve cross-harbor car float system


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) yesterday announced its board of commissioners approved a major redevelopment of Greenville Yard that will include a new ExpressRail facility.

The fourth of its type to be built by the authority, the ExpressRail facility will enable the adjacent Global Marine Terminal to ship and receive containerized cargo by rail for the first time. Containerized cargo will be transloaded from ship to rail, offering ocean carriers and their customers a more efficient and environmentally friendly option for goods movement, PANYNJ officials said in a press release.

Slated to open in July 2016, the facility will have an initial annual capacity of 125,000 container lifts. The project includes the construction of about 10,000 feet of working track, 32,000 feet of support track and switches, and infrastructure to support rail-mounted gantry cranes.

The board also approved a series of improvements to the cross-harbor car float system operated by NY-NJ Rail to move freight more efficiently by both water and rail between New Jersey and markets east of the Hudson River, including New York City and Long Island. Freight is loaded on rail cars that are moved by a marine rail barge from Greenville Yard to rail yards at 51st Street and 65th Street in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The work includes construction of up to two new transfer bridges at Greenville Yard and related lead and support tracks; the purchase of two larger car floats, each with the capability of transporting 18 rail cars; and the purchase of up to four new, ultra-low emission locomotives to replace older existing ones. The improvements will provide significant environmental benefits, including reductions to vehicle travel time, fuel consumption and air emissions, PANYNJ officials said.

"This investment will yield major benefits by providing new rail and barge options to meet the growing freight traffic in this busy metropolitan area," said PANYNJ Chairman John Degnan.

In addition, certain off-site improvements to the freight-rail network in northern New Jersey will be made to ensure it can handle the additional rail activity that will be generated by the redeveloped Greenville Yard.

The total cost of the facility and improvements is $356 million, of which PANYNJ will provide $320 million and third-party stakeholders will contribute $36 million. The authority funding will be reimbursed through a combination of federally earmarked funds, grants and a cargo facility charge.

"This project will reduce the number of trucks on our highways and curb harmful emissions, while maximizing the use of our waterways and freight-rail system to reduce traffic congestion and to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in the region," said PANYNJ Vice Chairman Scott Rechler.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2014