Press Release Article


Date: Apr 22, 2004
Press Release Number: 5200-2004

Rail Service to Howland Hook and New York City Will Be Restored For First Time In A Decade
Port Authority and NYC EDC Enter Into Funding Agreement for Construction

Governor George E. Pataki today announced that rail service to Howland Hook Marine Terminal and other areas of Staten Island will be restored for the first time in a decade. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved an agreement with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to fund portions of the construction required to restore Staten Island railroad service.

The Port Authority will provide $32 million toward construction of certain areas along the Staten Island Railroad, including in New York City\'s Arlington Yard rail terminal and along the tracks leading to the Arthur Kill lift bridge.

“Improvement and expansion of New York’s port infrastructure is a critical part of maintaining our competitive economy,” Governor Pataki said. “Restoring rail service to Staten Island and the Howland Hook Marine Terminal will help boost economic activity for New York City. The Staten Island Railroad will add critical intermodal capability at the container terminal and provide rail service to Staten Island and New York City businesses. The result will be greater economic activity for the area and the people of Staten Island can look forward to fewer trucks on the Staten Island Expressway and the Goethals Bridge.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Port Authority is in the midst of an historic $1 billion port redevelopment program to rehabilitate, upgrade and expand essential port infrastructure needed to meet the growing demand of the region’s consumers for international goods. This investment is part of our commitment to ensure that each of the Port Authority’s major container terminals in the harbor have equal access to rail, thereby reducing the port’s dependency on trucks for the distribution of cargo in the two states and beyond.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Howland Hook is a tremendous source of economic activity in New York City and the region. It supports more than 800 jobs, 72 percent of which are held by New York residents. Reactivation of the Staten Island Railroad is vital to the terminal’s continued success and will be an important new economic development asset for New York City.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Our strong partnership and shared vision with New York City has been essential to the success of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal. Working with the terminal operator, we have transformed a once vacant facility into a bustling and modern container terminal that represents an important part of the Port of New York and New Jersey’s future.”

EDC President Andrew M. Alper said, “We look forward to the reactivation of the Staten Island Railroad and are pleased to work with the Port Authority to move this important project forward. Restoring the SI Rail Road to service will enhance economic development for Staten Island, the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, Visy Paper and VanBro Corporation. In addition, increased use of rail for transporting freight, which reduces truck traffic and the corresponding air pollutants, is good for the environment.”

Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro said, \"As a longstanding advocate for freight rail service on Staten Island, I fully support the continued partnership between the Port Authority and New York City. By linking our business community by rail to the rest of the country, local industries will be competitive and continue to economically support the region. In addition, improved rail linkage means less truck traffic on our busy local roadways. This project is a win win for everyone involved.\"

Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said, “The Port Authority is investing $350 million in the Howland Hook Marine Terminal to extend and strengthen its wharves, build a new intermodal rail terminal and deepen the channel in the Arthur Kill. These investments will expand Howland Hook’s capacity to handle international cargo more efficiently and improve the port’s overall ability to accommodate greater volumes of international cargo, which are projected to double in the next decade.”

The Staten Island Railroad was abandoned by its previous operator in the 1990s. New York City obtained federal funding to restore the New York portion of the rail line, including the lift bridge that spans the Arthur Kill parallel to the Goethals Bridge. The Port Authority is constructing a new connection from the Staten Island Railroad to the Norfolk Southern/CSX Chemical Coast Line in New Jersey. The Staten Island Railroad will serve New York City’s Arlington Yard and a new intermodal rail terminal the Port Authority is building on the site of the former Procter and Gamble factory. The rail line also will extend south to the Travis neighborhood to serve commercial and manufacturing activities on the west shore of Staten Island.

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 and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.


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