New rail facility at New York-New Jersey port seeks to reduce truck traffic

aerial view of train cars in busy rail yard

January 10, 2019 - A decades-long plan to reduce congestion on New York and New Jersey roads and bolster traffic at the states' shared port culminated Monday when service began at a new Port Jersey rail facility, according to a press release from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 

The ExpressRail Port Jersey intermodal facility connects the GCT Bayonne Terminal with CSX's and Norfolk Southern's networks, opening up New England and offering shippers a new option for moving goods from New Jersey to Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Detroit, according to Railway Age.

The Port Authority expects the new facility to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the port by 18,300 tons annually. Currently, 85% of containers leave the port by truck.

Port Authority officials are eager to encourage more rail traffic out of the port to cut down on truck congestion and to reduce emissions since each container leaving the port via rail represents 1.5 truck trips.

The Port of New York and New Jersey has a five-year strategic goal to handle more than 900,000 rail lifts, or the equivalent of 1.5 million truck trips, and this facility is the final step in meeting that goal. 

The new facility is part of a $600-million Port Authority capital investment program dating back to the 1990s that established direct rail access to on-dock and near-dock intermodal rail services at all of its major marine terminals.

"With more than 75 percent of the vessels arriving in the Port of New York and New Jersey as their first call, an efficient rail cargo system can deliver cargo to an inland destination before the vessel reaches the next U.S. port, making our port a far more attractive destination for shippers," said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole in a statement. 

The intermodal facility consists of four tracks designed for active loading and unloading of cargo, along with two gantry cranes. More track will be added to complete the $149-million facility this year.

Source: Supply Chain Dive