• ESA, Cross Harbor Tunnel, Pilgram, Maspeth...

  • Discussion related to NYAR operations on Long Island. Official web site can be found here: www.anacostia.com/nyar/nyar.html. Also includes discussion related to NYNJ Rail, the carfloat operation successor to New York Cross Harbor that connects with NYAR.
Discussion related to NYAR operations on Long Island. Official web site can be found here: www.anacostia.com/nyar/nyar.html. Also includes discussion related to NYNJ Rail, the carfloat operation successor to New York Cross Harbor that connects with NYAR.
  by DogBert
More wishful thinking?

Below is copied off the desination freedom site:


Greater New York sees
major freight rail changes

The New York State DOT says that the environmental impact statement for a freight rail yard on part of the old Pilgrim State Hospital site in western Suffolk County will begin this summer.

Yards on Long Island, capable of handling freight, are largely short sidings that offer little room for greater rail freight activity. Like New York City, Long Island is extremely truck-dependent because of weak rail links across the lower Hudson – “but even if better links are forged, or more rail traffic seeks to reach Long Island via the Hudson Line from the north, there is little capacity to process it,” opined Mobilizing The Region of May 17. It is a weekly online publication from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

Rail advocates and the state DOT have analyzed rail freight opportunities on Long Island, but the state is turning the Pilgrim site over to other uses. There is good proximity and access to the Long Island Rail Road main line, which freight trains use during off hours, and the Long Island road network, which would distribute and collect goods for long-range rail transport.

An earlier DOT concept study found that even if a cross-harbor rail tunnel and LIRR main line third track were not built, a rail yard at the Pilgrim site would be a good investment. Clearly, however, these other projects would increase its utility significantly.

Under optimal conditions, by 2020 the terminal would serve large containers coming in via the cross-harbor rail freight tunnel and Hell Gate Bridge. The facility would ensure that Long Island businesses and local communities reap the avoided-truck benefits of the cross-harbor tunnel. Currently, rail only handles 1 percent of freight tonnage on Long Island. Last year, the state budget office apparently held up the Pilgrim project’s environmental impact statement, but the state DOT has assured residents the project is proceeding.

Elsewhere in the Greater New York railroad scene, The cross-harbor freight tunnel’s draft EIS, prepared during the past several years by the NYC Economic Development Corp., ruled out building a new tunnel between Staten Island and Brooklyn, stating that the Jersey City-Brooklyn link it analyzed will be cheaper, less environmentally intrusive, easier to build and provide better rail links. The main decision about the project that the EIS leaves open is whether to build a double or single tunnel system.

On April 22, New York State and City officials said reactivation of rail service to the Howland Hook container port on Staten Island would be completed by September 2005. The rail connection will allow freight to be moved by rail from Howland Hook to New Jersey rail lines and points across the country. The new service will reduce truck traffic on the Goethals Bridge. The Port Authority is creating a major expansion of the Howland Hook port, and hope it will ultimately handle one-fifth of New York and New Jersey container traffic.

Clearance improvements along the Bay Ridge and Montauk rail lines in Brooklyn and Queens, and a new rail yard in West Maspeth, Queens are integral features of the preferred Long Island project alternative. It would create a direct connection to the Greenville Branch line in Jersey City and possibly connect to port facilities in Jersey City and Bayonne.

The EIS forecasts truck-to-rail diversion of 9.5 million tons per year for a single tunnel, and 14.8 million tons for a tunnel pair in 2025, producing a 3 percent reduction in projected regional truck miles traveled in the former case, and a 4.5 percent lowering for the latter.

Development of the Maspeth yard could lead to right of eminent domain taking 25 to 50 businesses, and the double-tunnel option would require a bigger yard – but it could also lead 730 to 1,820 additional trucks over 24 hours onto the Queens roadway network.

A fortnight ago, Jersey City officials issued a new barrage of hostile comments about the project calling it a “trash tunnel” whose main purpose is to export solid waste from NYC. The DEIS estimated freight demand for the tunnel without including markets for trash transport.

To fund the Staten Island project, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is putting up $32 million toward rebuilding the Staten Island Arlington Yard rail terminal, and for various repairs along the tracks between Arlington and the Arthur Kill lift bridge, which the New York City Economic Development Corp. renovated several years ago. The EDC is also spending an additional $14 million on the projects.

Mobilizing the Region is online at http://www.tstc.org.


As always, believe it when you see it. I'd love to know the specifics, like what businesses would get booted to enlarge maspeth 'yard', how many NIMBYs would flip out over a yard at pilgram, etc. Most comincal of all is Jersey City complaining that a cross harbor tunnel would just be used to funnel out trash trains - am I mistaken, or doesn't most of the trash from The Bush and The Bronx pass through the jersey city area on it's way south now anyway?

While entirely off topic: Last time I was at arlington yard on staten island a few months back they had bulldozed and graded the entire area, and had stacks of crossties ready to lay out. Looks like that project really will be done by september next year.