Date: Feb 20, 2009
Press Release Number: 23-2009
The Port of New York and New Jersey's ExpressRail Elizabeth facility marked a major milestone this week by transporting its three millionth cargo container by rail, which has removed about 5 million truck trips from the road in the 18 years since the on-dock rail system was launched.
ExpressRail Elizabeth began service in 1991 as a way to move cargo containers from the ship to the marketplace by rail rather than by truck. Currently, about 12 percent of cargo containers are transported by rail. The Port Authority has invested $600 million to expand and upgrade the port's rail system, which will provide the capacity to move 1.5 million containers a year when completed in 2012.
Two expansion projects will be completed in 2009 - the addition of a second lead track into the ExpressRail Elizabeth facility allowing for simultaneous arrival and departure of two trains, and the completion of additional support track west of Corbin Street in the port to allow marshalling of trains to a single destination, providing for a quicker and more efficient movement of the containers.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "Almost 20 years ago this agency had the vision to begin investing in an on-dock rail system. That investment is paying dividends today - enabling shippers to move their cargo to market efficiently, supporting port-related jobs and economic activity, and reducing the number of trucks on our local roads."
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "Providing an efficient, cost-effective rail system to move goods from the port to the store shelves is a great benefit to shippers, and it's equally beneficial to the environment. Since the port's rail system was launched 18 years ago, ExpressRail has removed about 5 million trucks from the roads, which means less pollution, better air quality, and fewer traffic delays."
During 2008, the Port of New York and New Jersey set a new record for the ExpressRail system - which includes ExpressRail Elizabeth and ExpressRail Staten Island - transporting 377,827 containers for the year, a nearly 6 percent increase over 2007.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region's Core tunnel project.