Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

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Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby ccutler » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:57 am

I drove through the Port Newark area yesterday and saw that most of the spurs into the warehouses have been removed, not just paved over. It looks like the container terminal is expanding further and replacing the warehouses. The remaining warehouse in use has its tracks packed with boxcars. Also, a grain-car to container operation is running, with 18 grain cars spotted in the area. That's what you see in the photo. There were very few scrap metal cars, though I would attribute that to the very low scrap metal prices today. The chemical plant was full of tank cars, as usual.

I don't know that any of the changes have materially reduced the number of freight car loadings, and it appears just to be better utilization of existing assets. But it is very disappointing to see all those sidings being disconnected.

If anyone has additional information to add, please let us know.
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2015-07-30 20.10.15.jpg
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Re: Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby ccutler » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:08 am

I drove through the Port Newark area yesterday. Almost all the box-car warehouses have been razed! There are only two warehouses left, near the scrap metal piles. Thus the loose freightcar business at Port Newark appears greatly diminished. In its place are more acres for piles of commodities, and some containers.

Maybe some of the boxcar traffic was moved inland, just south of the airport? Or lost forever? I didn't have time to check out that area, but I could see a big cut of boxcars in the old CNJ yard in Elizabeth, which is now a large transmodal terminal, when passing on the Turnpike.
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Re: Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby rr503 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:14 pm

A lot of the remaining boxcar traffic at PNWK was into/out of P Judge and Sons, a distributor who owned a bunch of warehouses that were razed during the expansion. They found a warehouse at Port Jersey and they're now a NYNJ customer, so that traffic is safe.

I don't know what the deal is with the tank terminal (last I heard it's still there), and I was wondering whether anyone had any news on the warehouses along Tyler street between Mohawk and Panama, as (I think) they were the only other place getting boxcars in the area.
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Re: Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby SecaucusJunction » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:54 pm

I'd say they are probably scrambling for space as the large ships will finally start coming to Port Newark and Elizabeth in 2017. I believe the Jersey City terminal opens around then too.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.
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Re: Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby SemperFidelis » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:44 pm

I find it strange that they removed the rail infrastructure connecting to the old Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne, which is now slated to be another container terminal...which I presume is the Jersey City terminal that my old friend SecaucusJunction just mentioned as opening soon.

When I was last aboard base, before it was officially closed, the rails were all in place and, though by that time not having seen much use at all in a few years, were well maintained. The rail was very heavy rail, something like 144 or 146, and this makes sense as military loads tend to be rather heavy. Aboard base was a a rather large amount of trackage running between the various warehousing sites. Most of that trackage is still in place, though some of it has been paved over as potholes have developed and other parts have been blocked by semi-permanent equipment installations and building expansions.

It is odd that a place that is going to be handling containers, and one which is rather well laid out for long strings of double stack well cars, is not connected to the rail system. I know the light rail line is an obstacle, but other industries are connected.

Any idea if there are plans to reconnect? Any idea why, if not, the place was disconnected in the first place? I know direct loading from ship to rail, and vice versa, isn't as easy as using yard switcher trucks and chassis, but it seems odd to want to dray those boxes a few miles rather than loading on site.
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Re: Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby ccutler » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:41 am

rr503...
thanks for the good news on the trucking company finding a new home at NYNJ.
The only warehouse buildings left are the three that are east of Export street. All other ones have been razed, crossings paved over.
The tank farm/chemical distributor is still there and appears fully operational.
SemperFidelis...
I think the big ships will arrive at Global Terminal, which is the plot of land just north of the old MIlitary Ocean Terminal, but I could be mistaken.
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Re: Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby SemperFidelis » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:57 am

Ah, perhaps that is why. Thank you!
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Re: Big changes at Port Newark for regular freight cars

Postby rr503 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:50 am

ccutler is right. MOTBY is the terminal to the south of Global. Its main use is a cruise port, and I *think* there are plans to build condos or something, but I could be wrong.
ExpressRail Port Jersey is scheduled to open in 2020, and its construction will involve a rejiggering of Greenville Yard. Diagrams are here:
https://www.panynj.gov/corporate-inform ... 091714.pdf
Slightly contradictory press release is here:
https://www.panynj.gov/press-room/press ... ne_id=2306
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