356M Port Authority project bringing rail shipping system to Jersey City’s Global Terminal

Jessica Perry//September 18, 2014

356M Port Authority project bringing rail shipping system to Jersey City’s Global Terminal

Jessica Perry//September 18, 2014

A new system to move shipping containers by rail is coming to Jersey City’s Global Terminal under a $356 million project by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.The project, approved Wednesday at the agency’s board meeting, will redevelop what’s known as Greenville Yard with a new ExpressRail facility, according to a Port Authority news release. The facility will allow the adjacent terminal to ship and receive containerized cargo by rail — a capability it lacks today — reducing the use of trucks.

The authority will contribute about $320 million to the project, while the rest will come from third-party stakeholders, the news release said. About $234 million of the agency’s contribution will be reimbursed through a combination of federally earmarked funds, grants and its cargo facility charge.

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Global Terminal will contribute about $15 million for the procurement and installation of rail-mounted gantry cranes at the ExpressRail facility, the news release said. Once construction is completed, Global will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility.

The authority’s board also approved a series of improvements to the cross-harbor car float system known as NY-NJ Rail, which moves freight by both water and rail between New Jersey and markets east of the Hudson River, the news release said. The upgrades include construction of up to two new transfer bridges at Greenville and related lead and support tracks, along with the purchase of two larger car floats and new locomotives.

Currently, cargo coming on and off the Global terminal is transported to and from its final destination primarily by truck. The new facility will allow shipping containers to be moved from their from ship to rail, offering ocean carriers a more efficient and environmentally friendly option for moving the goods.

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The new ExpressRail facility, the fourth such facility to be built by the agency, will have an initial capacity of at least 125,000 cargo container lifts a year. It’s expected to be operational around July 2016.

“Striking a balance in freight transportation is critical if we are to continue the efficient, environmentally sustainable movement of people and goods throughout the region,” John Degnan, the authority’s chairman, said in a prepapred statement. “This investment will yield major benefits by providing new rail and barge options to meet the growing freight traffic in this busy metropolitan area.”


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