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Morristown & Erie Railway logged an 8 percent increase in freight-rail traffic last year, the third consecutive year of traffic increases, the New Jersey short line announced late last week.The increase in 2015 equates to more than 2,000 trucks removed from New Jersey's highways. Since 2010, freight-rail traffic has increased 72 percent on the 26-mile railroad, Morristown & Erie officials said in a press release.Marketing and Logistics Manager Rudy Garbely attributed the short line's traffic growth to a number of factors. "We improved our efficiency, expanded and rebuilt our facilities, and acquired the equipment and tools necessary to improve service and expand growth possibilities for our customers," said Garbely.Also last year, the railroad recorded traffic gains at its Bayway Refinery switching operation in Linden, N.J., continuing a trend that started in 2010. Morristown & Erie boosted that growth by helping to coordinate service times between Class Is and the receivers within the refinery, which helped improve the refinery's efficiency and output, officials said.For 2016, the railroad is projecting similar traffic increases as a result of several capital improvement projects, such as the recently completed construction of the new Troy Hills Road Bulk Transload Facility. The facility's 13 rail-car posts and location off Route 10 in Whippany will help contribute to freight-rail traffic growth, railroad officials said.Another factor expected to boost freight-rail traffic trends is the recent increase of vertical height clearances on the New Jersey Transit Morristown Line, which enables the Morristown & Erie to interchange tall Plate C rail cars with CSX in Kearny, N.J. That includes the majority of box cars, all center-beam lumber cars and covered hopper cars. "As we enter our 121st year of continuous service in 2016, we are continuing to look for ways to help our customers develop," said Morristown & Erie Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Jensen.
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