New York and Atlantic Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New York and Atlantic Railway
Map of NY&A System
NY&A locomotive #159 pulls freight through Jamaica Railroad Station
HeadquartersGlendale, Queens
Reporting markNYA
LocaleLong Island, New York
Dates of operation1997 (1997)–present
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)

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. A subsidiary of the Anacostia and Pacific Company, NY&A operates exclusively on Long Island, New York and is connected to the mainland via CSX's line over the Hell Gate Bridge.[1] It also interchanges with New York New Jersey Rail's car float at the 65th Street Yard and US Rail of New York in Yaphank, New York.[2] Its primary freight yard is Fresh Pond Junction in Queens. The NY&A officially took over Long Island Rail Road's freight operations on May 11, 1997. The initial franchise was for 20 years.[2]


NYA serves about 80 customers.[1] 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.[citation needed] For occasions such as the Super Bowl or St. Patrick's Day, the NYA transports 30 rail cars of beer per week, with each car holding 3,500 cases.[1]

Some NYA customers are located off-line, and make use of NYA's team tracks to receive or ship products.[3] Team tracks are located in Bay Ridge, Hicksville, Huntington, Greenlawn, St. James, Islip, Richmond Hill, Maspeth, Speonk, Medford, Southold, and elsewhere on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) lines that 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 in Yaphank, Brookhaven Rail Terminal, opened in 2011.[4]

In 2014, work was underway to build a transload facility for vegetable oil, food products and construction material at NYA's Wheel Spur Yard along Newtown Creek near Long Island City. NYA expects the facility to support construction of the replacement Kosciuszko Bridge.[5] The yard reopened in 2015.[6]

Other products shipped to Long Island via the NYA include bentonite and rock salt. NYA carries nearly 1 million tons of gravel a year from Connecticut quarries, delivered to the NYA by the Providence and Worcester Railroad.[1] The LIRR and the New York City Transit Authority occasionally receive new rail cars, and ship out old, retired equipment for scrapping by way of the Bay Ridge Branch.[7]


NYA moved 30,000 carloads in 2018, up from approximately 9,200 when it began operating in May 1997. The majority of its deliveries take place during the night, when fewer commuter trains are running.[1]

About 15 percent of freight cars transported by the NYA are floated across New York Harbor from Jersey City to NYNJ Rails's railyard in Bay Ridge on the Brooklyn waterfront.[1] The daily barge operation is managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but the number of cars transferred to NYA by that method had been restricted by the use of only one aging barge that has a 14-car capacity. In 2017 and 2018, the Port Authority added two new barges, each with a capacity of 18 cars.[8] The proposed Cross-Harbor Tunnel, if built, is projected to transport 25,000 cars annually, up from 5,000 per year circa 2018.[1]


As of 2019, NYA has about 60 employees, including eight train crews.[1] The railroad has substantially different crewing agreements than the Long Island Rail Road, allowing it more flexibility to match the needs of freight customers. NYA 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, NYA operates six crews.[9]


The NY&A operates thirteen locomotives. The roster, as of October 2017, includes the following:[10]

Number Type Manufacturer and dates Notes
101 EMD SW1001 EMD (1977)
151, 155–156, 159 EMD MP15AC EMD (1977)
261, 268, 270–271, 402, 2200 EMD GP38-2 EMD (1977–1979) 402 leased from CIT Group, 2200 leased from GATX.
300–301 EMD 20B Progress Rail (2016)


July 8, 2015 – A NYAR freight train smashed into a tractor trailer after the crossing gates were slow going down in Maspeth, Queens; the truck driver escaped with minor injuries

September 15, 2015 – 2 cars of a 16-car NYAR freight train derailed, causing delays on the LIRR at Hicksville

June 17, 2021 - NYAR Train RS41, consisting of Locomotives 300 and 271, was rear ended by Long Island Rail Road Inspection Car TC82 east of the Cold Spring Harbor station. Minor injuries were reported by crew members of both trains[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kilgannon, Corey (April 7, 2019). "The Pizza-and-Beer Train: New York City's Hidden Railroad". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "New York & Atlantic Railway Begins Long Island Rail Freight Service" (Press release). New York & Atlantic Railway Co. May 12, 1997. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  3. ^ Winzelberg, David (June 1, 2018). "Long Island's other railroad looks to expand". Long Island Business News.
  4. ^ Chang, Sophia (September 27, 2011). "Yaphank Freight Terminal Opens". Newsday. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  5. ^ "NY&A gets OK to haul 286,000-lb. rail cars; Wheel Spur yard change" (PDF). Apex. No. 2. Spring 2014. p. 2.
  6. ^ Waxman, Mitch (April 16, 2015). "Wheelspur Rail Yard in LIC Back in Operation". Brownstoner.
  7. ^ Crossing Upper New York Bay by Rail on Water, Andrew Grahl and Raymond Mercado, February 2023
  8. ^ Moore, Kirk (January 16, 2019). "Metal Trades delivers second rail barge to New York". WorkBoat. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  9. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (January 31, 2007). "Mystery Freight Train Out of Queens? It May Soon Be a Familiar Sight". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "New York & Atlantic". October 14, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  11. ^ Castillo, Alfonso (July 2, 2021). "Feds investigating accident in Cold Spring Harbor involving LIRR work train". Newsday. Retrieved February 18, 2023.


  • Skeats, William J. (Spring 2005). "The New York & Atlantic Railway". The Railroad Press. No. 65. p. 32.

External links[edit]