PortNYC expands and enhances the City's freight rail infrastructure and operations by modernizing rail connections laying new track, and negotiating service contracts with Class I railroads and shortline carriers.
PortNYC works to enhance freight rail infrastructure and operations within the City, leveraging rail transportation’s economic and environmental efficiencies that lower transportation costs, reduce highway congestion, and improve air quality.
In particular, PortNYC manages key freight rail facilities that are owned by the City of New York and operated through public-private partnerships with national Class I railroads and local shortlines. Three facilities make up PortNYC’s freight rail portfolio: the Staten Island Railroad, including the Arlington Rail Yard and the Arthur Kill Lift Bridge; rail infrastructure at the City’s Food Distribution Center in the South Bronx, featuring the largest terminal produce market in the country; and the Brooklyn Waterfront Rail System, which supports the last existing carfloat operation across the harbor.
The Staten Island Railroad is an active freight railroad operated by Conrail. It was reactivated by PortNYC in 2007 after a $75 million rehabilitation, and it now connects New York Container Terminal and the Staten Island waste transfer station with the national rail network via the Arthur Kill Lift Bridge. The Arthur Kill Lift Bridge was built in 1959 and is the largest vertical lift bridge in the world. The Arlington Rail Yard is a 10-track active freight rail facility that serves the Staten Island Railroad.
The Brooklyn Waterfront Rail System includes the 65th Street and 51st Street Rail Yards. Both are active freight rail yards operated by New York New Jersey Rail. The 65th Street Rail Yard contains a 14 acre break bulk transload site. These yards connect Long Island with New Jersey via a rail barge service across the Upper Bay, which constitutes the shortest freight rail route into New York City from the south and the west.
In addition to managing strategic freight rail assets, PortNYC advances freight rail policy for the City. This work includes managing capital projects to expand and improve freight rail infrastructure in the City, negotiating with railroads to improve existing rail facilities and site new operations within the City, and participating in regional freight initiatives such as the East of Hudson Rail Freight Operations Task Force and the Cross Harbor Freight Project EIS. This work involves close collaboration with the City’s eight freight rail carriers—CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific Railway, Conrail, New York & Atlantic Railway, Providence & Worcester Railroad, New York New Jersey Rail, and New York Container Terminal—as well as the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the New York State Department of Transportation Freight Bureau, and other City agencies.
Through its asset management and policy work, PortNYC seeks to bring freight rail infrastructure to a state of good repair, promote safe freight rail operations, enhance railroad competition in the region and encourage new freight rail shippers.
65th Street Rail Yard, Brooklyn
51st Street/Bush Terminal, Brooklyn
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