• intersting info on NY&A RR.

  • 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 DutchRailnut
From the PCAC LIRRCC meeting minutes back in May, 2013

Briefing on Freight Issues on the LIRR

"The Council was briefed on freight issues by Jennifer Cox, who is involved in planning and negotiation of freight operations at the LIRR, and Bret Becker, who is involved in freight operations at the Rail Road.

Ms. Cox asked whether everyone knows that the LIRR carries freight over its tracks. The members indicated that they are aware of this. She said that freight operations have been part of the Rail Road since 1834 when the LIRR was established and that the LIRR has an interstate commerce obligation to provide for freight shipment dating from its earliest days.

When the Rail Road started carrying passengers, they also committed to the federal government carry freight. At first, this freight largely consisted of agricultural products being shipped from Long Island. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, 245,000 carloads of freight per year were shipped in geographic Long Island. At this time, lots of coal and energy products and construction materials were carried, but also farm products. As LIRR became controlled by freight railways, highways were built on Long Island and industry that had been located on Long Island started moving away.

This shift was reflected in the volume of freight; in the 1930’s, there were 75,000 carloads of freight shipped per year. As the level of shipments declined, the LIRR began to look at the privatization of freight. In the 1990’s 12,000 carloads per year were shipped; this was a period when the studies of privatization were underway.

At present, many of the commodities that enter Long Island are ones that don’t move effectively over the rails. Some retailers once were supplied by rail, but now trucks account for almost all deliveries to retail stores.

In the mid-1990’s the MTA Board gave permission to issue a Request for Proposals for freight service. In the end, a 20 year contract starting in 1996 was negotiated with the New York and Atlantic Railroad (NYAR). Once the contract was signed, it took time to get the engineers certified on the system and operations began in 1997. There is an option to extend this contract for 10 years as long as standards such as a minimum level of investment and safety are met. Ms. Cox said that she and the LIRR legal staff monitor whether the standards are met. The NYAR is part of the Anacostia and Potomac Railroad holding company.

Mr. Becker discussed the coexistence of freight and passenger operations. He said that passenger service is always privileged on the railroad and that freight always has to operate separately from passenger trains in some way. In single track territory, temporal separation is used, which provides that freight operations may occur after the AM rush east of Ronkonkoma, but these trains have to be out of single track territory before the PM rush begins.

Mr. Becker explained that all freight trains run as extra trains and that work trains also get priority over freight trains. Each day, the NYAR files a proposed itinerary and the LIRR tells them when the can move trains. Ms. Cox said that each day the NYAR picks up cars from CSX and other railroads and builds trains at its Fresh Pond yard. Once their needs are determined, the NYAR submits an itinerary outlining its proposed train movements. If these movements would cause a disruption, the requests are not granted and the NYAR will have to submit another proposed itinerary the next day.

Mr. Epstein asked how many trains run in the average month. Mr. Becker responded that in the average year there are 23,000 carloads sent into the Fresh Pond yard.

Mr. Kessler asked the average number of trains that are run. Ms. Cox said that there is generally one train in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. Each of these trains make two movements, one out onto Long Island and one back.

Larry Rubinstein asked who owns the locomotives that are used for freight. Ms. Cox responded that the LIRR leases locomotives to NYAR for freight operations and that in the 2009 State Rail Plan, LIRR and NYAR submitted requests for new locomotives.

Mr. Epstein asked if there is any control over the type of freight moved. Ms. Cox replies that railroads have no ability to refuse to move certain kinds of commodities, so long as law and regulation allows them to be moved. Mr. Epstein said the Council has concerns about potential impacts of derailments. Ms. Cox said that the NYAR does not move any fertilizer and they do not regularly ship hazardous materials. Mr. Becker said that if placarded materials are shipped, their movement must meet guidelines, which are enforced by the Federal Railroad Administration. He said that the LIRR inspects trains containing placarded materials before they are moved.

Mr. Rubinstein asked about security and whether there is special security for any of the materials shipped. Mr. Becker responded that every few years there is radioactive material shipped that releases radiation similar to a dental x-ray at a very low level. There are special provisions made for these shipments. Ms. Cox commented that if the LIRR refused to allow these materials to be moved, a claim could be made to the Surface Transportation Board, and the claim would be likely to succeed when the Board ruled on it.

Mr. Epstein asked about the potential for growth in the shipment of freight over LIRR tracks. Ms. Cox responded that the kind of freight shipped depends on the land uses that are permitted in the communities that the Rail Road serves. She said that one major Calverton shipper is a manufacturer of clean diesel fuel made from cooking oil and that the other produces plastic pellets that are used as raw materials by plastic fence manufacturers.

Ms. Cox said that at Brookhaven shippers generally deliver aggregates such as cement, rock and stones. Flour is also a major commodity shipped to this location and the NYAR is working on increasing the shipment of food commodities to Brookhaven, in part through working to establish a cold storage facility for grocers. Home Depot is another major recipient of shipments, and this firm has 100,000 square feet of space to receive lumber shipments. There were 50 cars of lumber shipped to Home Depot last week.

Mr. Epstein requested a breakdown of the materials shipped. Ms. Cox responded that the information will be forwarded to the Council. Mr. Epstein also asked if there is any hazardous materials other than that discussed shipped on the system. Mr. Becker said that the only material that had not been discussed in detail is low level radioactive material and that preparing for these infrequent shipments entails a different process. Mr. Epstein said that he is afraid of future conflicts between off peak passenger and freight use and that there will be pressure from powerful people to have freight supplant passenger service.

Ms. Cox commented that freight operators do not want to increase the number of trains. The current average train consists of 23 cars and the LIRR’s analysis indicates that the next increase in freight could be accommodated with the same number of trains by making them average 33 cars. The planned growth would be a result of cross harbor shipments through the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s 64th Street yard in Brooklyn.

Mr. Epstein asked who pays if there is an accident or derailment. Mr. Becker said that what costs are borne by the LIRR depends on where the incident happens. He said that if the LIRR dispatches its wreck crew, the Rail Road seeks reimbursement for costs.

It was noted that there are limited shipments of liquefied petroleum gas in the winter months. Mr. Rubinstein asked how much is shipped. Ms. Cox said that the shipments are minimal, with 200 to 250 carloads going to Pereco Gas on the East End and another 60 carloads going to Polar Gas, and that these shipments are strictly seasonal.

Ms. Cox noted that the shipment of construction and demolition debris is a growth industry. Hector Garcia commented that there are lots of complaints regarding this kind of material. Ms. Cox noted that there are no shippers on the South Shore of Long Island and that when people think that they see freight operations there they may be seeing work trains. She said the LIRR has run 30 car rock trains for trackbed reconstruction. Matt Kessler said that he has seen the Belmont station being used to store cars. Mr. Becker said that in many cases this is material storage for track maintenance.

Mr. Epstein asked if any passengers have been delayed by freight operations in the last year. Ms. Cox commented that the only case that she could think of was the Pineaire derailment in 2009. Mr. Becker said that engineers on NYAR receive the same penalties for rules violation as any engineers. He said that he attended a CFR 240 conference and that the LIRR’s incidence of rules violations was among the lowest in the nation.

Mr. Epstein asked who is contacted when the NYAR wants to move freight. Mr. Becker responded that the NYAR contacts the Movement Bureau. The Movement Bureau receives car numbers and notice of whether there are any hazardous materials in the proposed train per DOT regulations. Ms. Cox also stated they will also be putting tag readers on system that will tell the LIRR what is in each car and where it is located, giving the Rail Road an electronic record of train movements.

Ms. Cox stated that while the LIRR operates 700 trains per day, while the NYAR moves three trains out and back per day for an average of five to seven trains per day. She said that freight movement will grow by lengthening trains.



Old Business

Joe Clift made some comments on the second track project. He stated that he has asked the LIRRCC to pursue cost estimates that were promised once a 30 percent design is done. He said that he is not saying that the 2nd track should not be built, but that we need to look at the planning and design process. He said that he is also requesting the LIRRCC to ask for current peak hour ridership figures."

http://www.pcac.org/lirrcc/meetings-and ... es-050913/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by DogBert
Some weird typos / mistakes in here, like "The NYAR is part of the Anacostia and Potomac Railroad holding company."