Oak Point Link
The Oak Point Link is a 1.9-mile (3.1 km) long railroad line in the Bronx, New York City, USA, along the east bank of the Harlem River. It connects the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line (on the Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Railroad section) with the Harlem River Intermodal Yard and the CSX Transportation Oak Point Yard at the north end of the Hell Gate Bridge.
The line, constructed and owned by the State of New York, opened in 1998 to allow better freight rail access to the city by eliminating a more circuitous route that crossed busy commuter lines and whose tight turns (at Mott Haven and Melrose) limited the length of freight cars. The new line was built with loading gauge clearances high enough for trailer-on-flat car (TOFC) intermodal freight transport service, but is not high enough for double stack container service, due to limits imposed by city bridges crossing over the line and the high tides on the Harlem River. Construction of the line began in 1983 and cost $187 million to complete. Including that sum, more than $375 million of public money has been spent to upgrade track to TOFC clearance between Selkirk Yard near Albany and Fresh Pond Junction yard on Long Island.
The line also gives Canadian Pacific Railway's subsidiary Delaware and Hudson Railway access to New York City. The access was mandated by the Surface Transportation Board to give competition to CSX's post-Conrail breakup monopoly on New York City and encourage freight in the area to use rail. CP uses trackage rights over CSX and Metro-North from Schenectady south along the east side of the Hudson River to the connection. The first train to use it ran on October 12, 1998, according to The New York Times.
As of 2009, CSX runs a pair of trains on the line each day, while CP ran several trains per week. However in 2010 CSXT and CP's Delaware and Hudson subsidiary asked the Surface Transportation Board to approve an arrangement where CSX will carry freight for D&H over the Oak Point link, though D&H retains trackage rights. D&H in turn will carry freight for CSX from Saratoga, NY to the Canadian border.
Local service from Oak Point Yard runs to an interchange with the New York and Atlantic Railway (NY&A) at Fresh Pond Junction Yard in Queens. From Fresh Pond the NY&A takes freight to customers on the Long Island Rail Road, as well as the city-owned 65th Street Yard in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, via the Bay Ridge Branch.
- Schneider, Daniel B. (November 30, 1997). "F.Y.I.". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- Halbfinger, David M. (October 12, 1998). "20 Years in the Making, Rail Freight Link Opens in Bronx". The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
- Paaswell, Robert E.; Eickemeyer, Penny (June 9, 2011). "NYSDOT Consideration of Potential Intermodal Sites for Long Island" (PDF). CUNY Institute for Urban Systems University Transportation Research Center. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- RailForum discussion
- "CSXT, Delaware and Hudson Propose Joint Use Arrangement for Improved Service" (Press release). CSX Transportation. April 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
- Greenstein, Joe (April 2002). "Canadian Pacific In NYC". Trains 62 (4): 52–57.
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