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8/22/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Two-year-old New Jersey short line registers business boom




Raritan Central Railway L.L.C.'s monthly carload totals are on the rise. In July, the 16-mile short line handled 420 rail cars, exceeding its monthly 310-car goal by 35 percent. When the railroad concluded its first full month of operation in September 2001, it handled 60 cars.

Additional track capacity is helping spur the traffic increase. Between May and July, Raritan Central completed two yard tracks and the first phase of transload facility tracks. In October, the short line expects to complete an additional 2,500-foot track, finishing $1.5 million worth of 2003 capital improvements, said Raritan Central President Eyal Shapira in an August marketing letter.

The railroad also is expanding its customer base. During the past three months, Raritan Central has attracted petroleum-product shipper ConocoPhillips, as well as a plastics, finished limestone product and food-oil packaging shipper.

The short line soon will serve a cross-dock facility with eight car spots, too. Raritan Center Industrial Park recently began building the 82,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the railroad's lower yard.

The short line serves the 2,350-acre park, which is located in Edison and Woodbridge, N.J. Raritan Central interchanges with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway, and is located near the ports of New York and New Jersey.



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