Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel (PATH / NYS)

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby BigDell » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:03 am

Not sure if this was posted anywhere, from late last month:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/0 ... affic.html

Interesting discussion but still basically "vaporware"... Love the idea though.
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby ccutler » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:57 am

If built, it would be a failure unless they also spend a ton of money building terminals and warehouses in Brooklyn and Long Island. Most of that infrastructure was there in the past, but is now gone and what is left is obsolete. But I would not be surprised if a $7bn project will be full of kickbacks and other forms of corruption to waste our hard-earned money.
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby kilroy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:48 pm

"a $7bn project will be full of kickbacks and other forms of corruption to waste our hard-earned money."

It's a PA project so bribes, kickbacks and no show jobs are a required part of the RFP.

Story states one objective is to get trucks off the streets. How do the goods get from the railcars to the customer's site? Turn the odd numbered streets into extra long rail sidings?
Why do we drive on parkways and park in driveways?
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby rr503 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:24 pm

I read the plan, and they seem to have magically produced space in Maspeth for an intermodal yard.
Also, they've narrowed it down to the rail tunnel (with no added services) enhanced carfloat, and do nothing.
http://www.panynj.gov/port/eis-tier-1-final/index.html
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby SecaucusJunction » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:14 pm

This is a gigantic waste of time. They will never build a freight tunnel because they have no money to do so. The Port Authority has far bigger problems with this Bayonne Bridge debacle. Enough so that they should probably focus on trying to keep the cargo that is actually coming to the area before they lose a big part of it.
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: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby rr503 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:51 pm

I don't think never, but certainly not now.

Money regardless, as long as the agency is tied to politics, the NIMBYs will win, as the politicians will bend over backwards and then some to cater to them.

I actually think IM is the wrong choice for the yard concept in Maspeth (if/when it is built), b/c there is nowhere to transfer shipments from container to local delivery truck. I think they should build a massive version of wheelspur, thereby eliminating the warehouse in between (and the nonexistent industrial land) the BRT has proven the concept viable, and the fact that Home Depot is transloading lumber there now speaks volumes about the viability of the centralized carload terminal concept on a large scale.
Anyway, SecaucusJunction is right, the PANYNJ has bigger fish to fry (at the moment.)
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby Sir Ray » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:44 pm

rr503 wrote:I actually think IM is the wrong choice for the yard concept in Maspeth (if/when it is built), b/c there is nowhere to transfer shipments from container to local delivery truck. I think they should build a massive version of wheelspur, thereby eliminating the warehouse in between (and the nonexistent industrial land) the BRT has proven the concept viable, and the fact that Home Depot is transloading lumber there now speaks volumes about the viability of the centralized carload terminal concept on a large scale

Hmm, not too much happening at the NY&NJ 50th St. Yards in Brooklyn nowadays, and it seems to me they used to do a lot of transloading there back in the day - maybe they can do more than transship scrap metal on that line...
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby rr503 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:14 pm

Probably, but if my memory serves me correctly, they evicted themselves from 1st ave when they rebuilt the street tracks and moved float ops to 65th st.
Not saying they can't, but it is more than lack of customers (which there actually isn't (a lot of the places that transloaded are still active, and new business can certainly be found))
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:02 pm

I don't think it would be a failure; I think there would be operating issues sharing trackage with commuter railroads, and if the destination is New England, with the NEC as well (you'd have to triple or four-track up to New Rochelle, and beyond that you'd be limited to off-peak and you'd have a bottleneck as Shell interlocking only accesses tracks 2 and 4). There is a transload facility out in Brookhaven; double tracking Ronkonkoma would help with capacity, and that's a pretty busy NYAR line as well.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:34 am

So, the Tier 1 DEIS was released: http://www.panynj.gov/port/eis-tier-1-final/index.html

More on the project: http://www.panynj.gov/port/cross-harbor.html

A recent news source: Queens Chronicle

Cross Harbor proposals continue to take shape

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has whittled down its list of ideas to better ship freight in and around New York City to just two, and some residents of southwestern Queens won’t be fans of one of the finalists.

After months of crunching numbers, the Port Authority released its Tier I Environmental Impact Statement late last month, with the agency choosing to further study implementing either a railcar float system on the waters of Upper New York Bay between New Jersey and Brooklyn or a subterranean rail tunnel connecting the two states, with the Fresh Pond Rail Yard in Glendale serving as a critical intermodal terminal.

The purpose of the Cross Harbor Freight Initiative is to get as many cargo trucks off the metropolitan area’s aging bridge and roadway systems as possible, and the Port Authority estimates that both options would divert at least 2.8 million tons of freight per year.

However, Community Board 5, southwest Queens activists and residents have slammed the rail tunnel idea for years, claiming that with the Fresh Pond Rail Yard becoming a site where numerous trains would offload their cargo onto trucks, the amount of truck traffic in area neighborhoods would dramatically increase.
<SNIP>
At a Borough Board meeting in January, Director of New Port Initiatives Mark Hoffer said the rail idea would cost between $7 and $11 billion, while the cost of the float option would run upwards of $600 million.
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby ccutler » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:29 pm

Given the local history of vastly underestimating tunneling costs, the PA should go for the $600MM carfloat option and not the $7 billion tunnel which ultimately would end up costing way more. Moreover, with the interest savings by not spending the $6.4 billion or more on the tunnel [over the car float], the PA could subsidize the car float operation heavily. For instance, $6.4 billion x 2.5% interest per year would be $160 million per year in cost reductions for shippers. So if the PA thinks they will get 2.8 million tons of freight off the roads per year, and they subsidized each ton using the carfloat at $57/ton [$160million in interest savings divided by 2.8 million tons per annum, which is about $5700 per railcar!], you could be sure those carfloats would be jammed at every crossing! In fact, at $5700 per railcar, shipping a railcar from Texas to Long Island would likely be free!
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Cross-harbor freight tunnel

Postby philipmartin » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:12 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-Harbor_Rail_Tunnel

Craine's article "Tunnels to somewhere that go nowhere."
http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20 ... go-nowhere

ADMIN NOTE: Added brief, fair-use quote per railroad.net site policy; post relocated to this thread as it's a PA project

Tunnels connecting New Jersey to Brooklyn and Queens go nowhere

Ambitious transportation projects take so long and cost so much that the only sure winners are the consultants


The environmental impact statement for the proposed cross-harbor freight tunnel connecting New Jersey to Brooklyn and Queens was recently released. Forgive me if I do not get too excited. In theory, the tunnel might move thousands of truckloads of goods off the roads and on to railroad tracks for significant portions of their journey.
<SNIP>
Any guess who will find $5 billion to $10 billion or more needed for construction of the cross-harbor freight tunnel?

The cross-harbor freight tunnel may just continue the series of feasibility studies and environmental reviews sponsored by various governmental agencies and public officials over decades. They generate some money for consultants along with free publicity for elected officials who promise a bright future but all too often move on to another public office before delivering. We are frequently left holding an empty bag with unfilled promises.

Just like with the subway tunnel from Brooklyn to Staten Island, don't count on seeing any shovel in the ground for the cross-harbor tunnel before the end of this decade. Or in your lifetime.
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:21 pm

Three questions:
-How much potential is there for rail freight service that can't go over the Hell Gate?
-How much congestion would be mitigated through rail freight service across the bay?
-How much of that same service could be provided through containers? (Train to barge in NJ, barge to truck in NY)
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:08 pm

The Roadrailer was an option,it was within the Plate B profile and could have been run thru the North(Hudson)river
and East river tubes.
However NS's Triple Crown Services is moving away from Roadrailers,as the current fleet ages out,
and not gone back to Wabash National to build replacements.
There're certain shippers that WILL NOT load trailers/Roadrailers over 10-15 years old!

Back in the late '90's-early 2000's,an "in house" trucking operation from one of the "Big Three" automakers
had a 15 year old trailer(barely maintained,but road legal)had a floor break while a forklift was in the trailer.
Trailer collasped,forklift driver was injuried,a wholesale ban on trailers over 10 years old imposed afterword
by that Automaker.
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Re: Cross Harbor Freight Plans....

Postby num1hendrickfan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:06 pm

Backshophoss wrote:The Roadrailer was an option,it was within the Plate B profile and could have been run thru the North(Hudson)river
and East river tubes.

From what I heard the Pennsy tried running freight through the tubes and it resulted in failures of the knuckles from the forces. Which is the main reason why no freight goes through the tunnels to date. As for the benefits of a dedicated freight rail tunnel. Immense if you look at the growing gridlock that is the George Washington Bridge on a good day, and the crowded at other area crossings as well. There's also the time factor that much be accounted for, in regards to that freight that goes over Hellgate. In order to get to that point it must be transported well north of the region and then back south over the Hellgate Bridge and onto Long Island.

Sadly costs will always keep this vital project down.
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