N.Y.-N.J. Port Authority providing funds for rail improvements
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will provide Conrail with partial funding for projects designed to improve the flow of rail traffic around Port Newark and Elizabeth and the Howland Hook Marine Terminal.
On Thursday the authority’s board approved providing $7 million of $20 million that will be used to design and build about 7,600 linear feet of railroad yard track connecting to and paralleling the Chemical Coast Line.
The funds will also be used to rehabilitate and improve signals on 39,000 linear feet of Chemical Coast Line tracks between Port Newark and the Staten Island Railroad Chemical Coast Connector.
The improvements will increase the capacity and velocity of trains using the line and enable more fluid, dispatcher-controlled train movements.
The port authority and Conrail say there is a need for additional freight rail improvements in the vicinity of the New Jersey Marine Terminals. They say the project will increase the storage capacity for rail freight destined for Port Newark, and that this will directly benefit port authority rail operations and improve the velocity and flow of both intermodal and non-intermodal rail traffic that uses the critical Chemical Coast Line corridor between Newark and Elizabeth, N.J.
The port authority said the yard track will provide an area to stage eastbound trains, destined for the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, without blocking the Chemical Coast Line tracks while the train is waiting for bridge operational clearance or other track capacity in the adjacent ExpressRail Corbin Street Intermodal Rail Support Facility.
Under terms of the deal, the port authority will retain title to the 7,600 linear feet of yard track constructed on Conrail property for 'its useful life' and Conrail will be responsible for all maintenance and operation at no cost to the port authority.