New York and Atlantic Railway
|New York and Atlantic Railway|
The NY&A System Map using tracks owned by LIRR, and CSX.
|Locale||Long Island, New York|
|Dates of operation||1997–present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
The New York and Atlantic Railway (NY&A) (reporting mark NYA) is a short line railroad formed in 1997 to provide freight service over the tracks of the Long Island Rail Road, a public commuter rail agency which had decided to privatize its freight operations. An affiliate of the Anacostia and Pacific Company, NY&A operates exclusively on Long Island, New York and is connected to the mainland via the Hell Gate Bridge. It also interchanges with New York New Jersey Rail's car float at the 65th Street Yard. Its primary freight yard is Fresh Pond Junction in Queens.
Lumber, building products, scrap metal, construction & demolition debris, bio-diesel fuel, food, beer, gravel, propane, chemicals, structural steel, plastics and recyclable cardboard/paper are NYA's main traffic. Occasionally, NYA transports utility poles and electrical transformers to the LIPA facility in Hicksville, which has its own spurs. NYA also moves municipal solid waste in sealed containers on COFC trains. NYA serves Belmont Park, delivering boxcars, usually BNSF's, full of feed for the race track's horses.
Some NYA customers are located off-line, and make use of NYA's team tracks to receive or ship products. Team tracks are located in Bay Ridge, Hicksville, Huntington, Greenlawn, St. James, Islip, Richmond Hill, Maspeth, Speonk, Medford, Yaphank, Southold and elsewhere on the Long Island Rail Road lines which NYA serves. Most of NYA's customers have their own spurs, making the use of team tracks unnecessary. A new 28 acre, privately funded transload facility, Brookhaven Rail Terminal, opened in 2011.
Other occasional products shipped to Long Island via the NYA is bentonite and rock salt. The LIRR and the NYCTA both receive new passenger equipment via the NYA, and ship out old, retired equipment for scrapping by way of the NYA.
The NY&A officially took over Long Island Rail Road's freight operations on May 11, 1997. The initial franchise was for 20 years.
The NY&A has substantially different crewing agreements than the Long Island Rail Road, allowing it more flexibility to match the needs of freight customers. NY&A has two crewbases, one in Glendale, Queens and another near the former LIRR station Pine Aire on the main line, between Deer Park and Brentwood. On a typical weekday, NY&A operates ten crews.
The Railroad operates with former Long Island Rail Road locomotives through a lease. These locomotives include ex-LIRR:
Formerly used in service were Louisville and Indiana Railroad SW1200s #9321 and 9373 and GP-10's #201 and 202. A leased former Iowa Interstate/Missouri Pacific GP-38, #2081, has been acquired to boost power on the long trains the NYA runs eastbound and westbound on the Main Line.
On January 8, 2009 a NYA train derailed east of the Deer Park station. Six cars went off track and one was flipped to its side. The freight train containing construction debris did not injure anyone but caused commuter trains to be delayed for several hours and resulted in some disruptions to rush hour service the following morning. The LIRR was unsure what caused the derailment. As of September 15, 2009, the damaged switch at the west end of the siding where the derailment occurred has not been repaired. Apparently, the NYA and the LIRR cannot agree on repairing the switch and which line will pay for it. The LIRR further complicated things for the NYA by removing the crossover from the eastbound mainline track to the westbound main which is the track the damaged switch joins to the siding under discussion to enable eastbound NYA trains to access the extant siding. On January 10th, 2014 a NYA train derailed east of the Brentwood LIRR station. Only one stone car derailed.
- Skeats, William J. (April/May/June 2005), "The New York & Atlantic Railway", The Railroad Press (65), p. 32. - lists startup date and general info about the railroad
- "New York & Atlantic Railway Begins Long Island Rail Freight Service" (Press release). New York & Atlantic Railway Co. May 12, 1997. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Kilgannon, Corey (January 31, 2007). "Mystery Freight Train Out of Queens? It May Soon Be a Familiar Sight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Newsday on-scene video report Derailment (page no longer available)
- Castillo, Alfonso A. (January 9, 2009). "Freight Derailment Slows LIRR". Newsday (Long Island). p. A5.