• New York Harbor car floats-what's left?

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by Aa3rt
I spent three years in the mid-1970s stationed on a Coast Guard cutter homeported at Governors Island, NY. (In the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn.) I remember seeing tugs in paint schemes for various railroads in the New York area-this was pre-Conrail and just after the merger (or Consolidation).

I'm just curious as to what railroad tug/carfloat traffic is left since I haven't been back for over 25 years now.

  by mxdata
Following the creation of Conrail, most interchange traffic that previously was done by carfloat operations ended up going by land routes, since most of the companies that previously operated carfloats fell under Conrail. New York Cross Harbor became the primary remaining carfloat operator in the harbor, and over the years they used a variety of tugs, both of their own and from other marine companies under contract, in these operations.

  by Ken W2KB
Art, see:


  by Mr rt
NYCH has fallen on hard times.
The City also wants them out of the Bush Termainal area (they want to develop the area).
I believe they have already been evicted from the offices & diesel shed there.
Recently the City has been ericting high fences to further contain them (around their yard).
There is now a gate at the exit of the yard that could be closed & locked to prevent their exchanging cars with NY & Atl (this is there main source of revenue in Brooklyn).
The City also wants them to shut down the 50th Street float in favor of the 65th float that the City rehabed. (the 30th Street float has a leak, so has to be pumped out before every use).

If NYCH moves to the 65th float, I dought they'll do more them deliver cars to NY & Atl since the tracks leading up to it are LIRR.

This would be a sad end to once was such a vital part of the NY/NJ harbor.

  by Ken W2KB
If the gate is closed and locked, that's why boltcutters are made. Last I checked, the federal jurisdicion over interstate commerce, in particular RRs, pre-emted state law. Seriously, if the RR has an interchange point that is gated off, it does have the right to self help and 'unlock' the gate.
  by Mr rt
You may be correct, but it's another nail in their coffin just the same.
It reminds me of the guys who has almost fallen off the bridge. He hanging their by his hands & here comes nycDOT to remove one finger at a time :-(