New York New Jersey Rail, LLC
|New York New Jersey Rail, LLC|
|Locale||Upper New York Bay|
|Dates of operation||2006–|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
|Headquarters||Greenville, Jersey City|
New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (reporting mark NYNJ) is a switching and terminal railroad that operates the only car float operation across Upper New York Bay between Jersey City, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York. Since mid-November 2008, it has been owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which acquired it for about $16 million as a step in a process that might see a Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel completed. Since freight trains are not allowed in Amtrak's North River Tunnels, and the Poughkeepsie Bridge was closed in 1974, the ferry is the only freight crossing of the Hudson River south of the Alfred H. Smith Memorial Bridge, 140 miles (230 km) to the north of New York City (see Selkirk hurdle). It is the last remaining car float operation in the Port of New York and New Jersey.
NYNJ leases approximately 27 acres (11 ha) of land at Conrail's Greenville Yard in Greenville, Jersey City, where it connects with two Class I railroads - CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway - which jointly operate Conrail's North Jersey Shared Assets Area. On the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn end, the 6-acre (2.4 ha) Bush Terminal Yard and the 65th Street Yard connect to the New York and Atlantic Railway's Bay Ridge Branch and the South Brooklyn Railway.
The 2.5 mile barge trip across the harbor takes approximately 45 minutes. The equivalent truck trip would be 35 to 50 miles.
As of 2012, the NYNJ system moves around 1,500 rail cars across the harbor per year. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials suggested that some day the system can transport as many as 25,000 cars annually. Improvements are underway, including repairs, track work and construction of a new 4-track barge.
From 1983 to 2006, the operation was known as the New York Cross Harbor Railroad (reporting mark NYCH). Earlier predecessors include the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Company, Bush Terminal Railroad, New York Dock Railway, and New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad operations at Bay Ridge and Greenville.
In 1999, the City of New York rehabilitated the larger 65th Street Yard for car float operations, with two lift bridges, but it was never turned over to NYCH because of a dispute over money owed the city. NYCH continued to use the single lift bridge at Bush Terminal instead.
In 2002, New York Cross Harbor Railroad revenues from railroad operations were $ 1,685,899. It had 48 active customers, with shipments of cocoa from docks in Brooklyn as its largest line of business. It also ran a trucking service and offered shipside and dockside service for receipt or delivery of various types of cargo, such as oversized steel beams.
In 2006, the New York Cross Harbor Railroad officially became a "fallen flag". A new company: Mid Atlantic New England Rail, LLC; based out of West Seneca, NY; purchased and assumed control of the railroad and renamed it to "New York New Jersey Rail LLC" (NYNJ).
Two years later, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey acquired NYNJ Rail in November 2008.
The Port Authority has been working with government agencies in New York and New Jersey to bring the NYNJ to a state of good repair. This includes emergency work to stabilize the transfer bridge structure in Greenville, repairs to the float bridge and track infrastructure in Brooklyn, and procurement of ultra-low emissions locomotives and a new 30-car rail barge.
In May 2010, the Port Authority announced that it would purchase the Greenville Yard and build a new barge-to-rail facility there, as well as improving the existing rail car float system. The barge-to-rail facility is expected to handle an estimated 60,000 to 90,000 containers of solid waste per year from New York City, eliminating up to 360,000 trash truck trips a year. The authority's board authorized $118.1 million for the overall project.
In November 2011, the Port Authority hired HDR, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska as prime design consultant on a project to rehabilitate the Greenville Yard. The work will include rehabilitating the railyard and waterfront structures, including a rail barge and transfer bridge, demolishing two other bridges, designing a new barge and two new bridges, and adding 10,000 feet of track. The project is expected to take 5 years.
In July 2012, New York New Jersey Rail began operating out of the 65th Street Yard. Initial cargo is expected to include apples, home heating oil, new automobiles, and scrap metal. The rail line north from the yard along First Avenue has been refurbished and new tracks laid to support operations at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, including an automobile import pier and a new municipal recycling plant.
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused major damage to the Greenville facility, undermining the float bridge gantries and sinking one of the car floats. The 81-year old gantry structures were in such bad condition that they had to be demolished. The working float bridge at Bush Terminal was transferred by barge to Greenville, where it was re-designated the Greenville Pontoon Bridge. Service was restored in late December, after 52 days of intensive reconstruction.
See also 
- Rail freight transportation in New York City and Long Island
- National Docks Secondary
- Gantry Plaza State Park
- New York Central Railroad 69th Street Transfer Bridge
- Port Jersey
- Association of American Railroads, About the Industry: Railroads and States, 2006, accessed December 2008
- "Top Officials and Stakeholders Meet to Launch Project That Will Study Regional Freight Movement Issues" (Press release). Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. November 13, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- NYRR 10-K SEC filing for 2003
- Barry Newman (2012-05-20). "New York's Last Cross-Harbor Railway Chugs On as Alternative to Trucks: Barges Float Boxcars Into Town, Sludge Out; Cocoa Beans at the Bottom of the Bay". The Wall Street Journal.
- NJTPA Freight Committee, October 2012
- "Port Authority Board Approves Purchase and Redevelopment of Greenville Yards" (Press release). Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. May 18, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Industrial & Offline Terminal Railroads of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx & Manhattan: New York New Jersey Rail
- NYCH image gallery at archive.org
- New York Rail Marine photo pool on Flickr