NYA removed the 58 Street crossing, July 2005
NYA president Fred Krebs claims to have "no choice", without a company shipping on the line, rebuilding
it was out of the question.
Until this week, Maspeth community activists held out hope that the Coca-Cola plant at 59-02
Borden Avenue—which bottles some 35 million cases of products a year—would resume shipments
by rail, rather than truck.
“I can’t invest all that money for a crossing I’ve never used,” Krebs said. “We’ll pull it out and pave it
over and that will be the end of it.”
Since 1997, when NYAR took over the Long Island Rail Road’s freight division, the company has
been trying to convince Coca-Cola to resume shipments by rail, according to Krebs.
Bob Lanz, vice president of communications for Coca-Cola, said its been more than 20 years since
the company used the rail line. To revive it was not feasible because of the amount of work that
would be necessary to make the crossing operational. “There were a number of logistical
issues,” he said.
Two weeks ago, Coca-Cola definitively said no to shipping by rail, a decision that disappointed not
only Krebs, but some Maspeth residents, because of the environmental benefits of shipping by rail.
According to Kampermann and Krebs, between 6 and 9 trucks a day, or 2,500 trucks a year bring
syrup to the plant for bottling.
Once the rails are removed and the ground is paved over, it would be expensive for Coca-Cola to
reverse its decision, since rebuilding the crossing could cost as much as $750,000. Tony Nunziato,
vice president of the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce: “If Coke really wants to be the real thing,
this isn’t the way to go.”
Update: the site has been sold to Home Depot for a future store
, which would not begin work until after the Coca-
Cola lease ended in March 2020.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.