@R&DB To answer your questions.
1. Builders General and Amerigas want service. Both are tired of trucking their materials to their respective locations. More so with Builders. When Conrail closed the line in 2005 they made an agreement that Conrail would pay to truck lumber from Freehold to Toms River. Conrail recently backed out of this and Builders is very unhappy about it.
There are three other potential customers on the line. ABC Supply Co, Mountain Millwork, and L&W Building Supply. Not sure if any of them are interested in rail service though.
2. Conrail wants nothing to do with with this line and will likely sell or lease the line to anyone who wants it. They are more likely to lease it.
3. My sources have told me that he indeed is looking to run the line, but there’s no confirmation of that. Not sure if he has the money but the line is not in horrible condition, and can likely be fixed for relatively cheap.
4. The crossings can be upgraded. Route 37 needs new lights, signs, and a road surface. Bananier Dr is fine as it is, but could do with LED lights and a new road surface. Saint Catherine Blvd and Bimini Dr will need a complete rebuild with lights and gates. Alexander Ave at the very least needs new signs that meet FRA/DOT standards, preferably the standard X sign combined with a stop sign. S Colonial Dr has been damaged by vandalism and will probably need to be replaced. Repairs should consider the fact that the road sees heavy school bus traffic.
5. The current siding south of Union Ave has a crossover in the middle, which separates it into two sections. One can hold all of the sand cars and the other can take cars for the TRIT. Therefore, the only problem is a parking spot for engines, which can easily be done on the OceanGro spur.
6. At most, the crossing on 37 would only be used twice daily. One train in, one train out. I wouldn’t expect any huge trains coming in and out of this place so traffic shouldn’t be a huge problem. God forbid a train breaks down there, an alternative route exists.
7. BASF does indeed allow people to lease the land. Someone is leasing the eastern part for a solar farm right now.