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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by Jeff Smith
<BUMP> and relo to NYC: Progressive Railroading

RFP issued for Cross Harbor Freight Movement Project
The tunnel would connect an existing rail yard in the Greenville area of Jersey City, N.J., to existing rail infrastructure in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) issued the RFP, and has committed up to $35 million for the study and has available up to another $35 million for further design and engineering.
Trucks transport 90 percent of the freight, while rail handles 2 percent to 3 percent. Most freight arrives by rail at points west of New York City and relies on trucks to reach its final destinations. The new freight-rail tunnel would remove 1,800 trucks from New York Harbor crossings per day or a half million trucks per year, Cuomo administration officials said.
The PANYNJ and Federal Highway Administration completed the Tier I study in 2014, with the record of decision issued in 2016.
ADMIN NOTE: I merged in a bunch of threads from across three forums: NYS Railfan, New York Atlantic Rail/NYNJ Rail, and this NYC forum. Since the NYC Subway forum has been merged with PATH, and this would fall within PATH's purview (it was the original reason for the creation of PATH, after all), I figure it belongs here, even though this is primarily a passenger forum. NYNJ and NYAR are primarily freight OPERATORS, while this project's operator is not determined, and the tunnel would likely be built by PATH. Because I know the argument logically flows to Gateway, then, and PATH being the "aggregator" on that project, that tunnel would definitely be operated by Amtrak, even if PATH has some oversight.
  by Jeff Smith

Brief, fair-use:
Cross Harbor Rail Tunnel plan resurfaces, and a Queens lawmaker is concerned about its potential impact
The congresswoman first voiced her concerns regarding a freight tunnel that would potentially increase both truck and rail traffic in her district in a pair of letters to PANYNJ and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) in 2015.

The proposed rail tunnel would run between an existing rail yard in the Greenville area of Jersey City and connect with existing rail infrastructure in Brooklyn as a way to increase freight shipments across the harbor and reduce traffic on Hudson River bridges and tunnels.

The Cross Harbor Tunnel was first proposed in the first few years of the 21st century, spurring concern from local civic leaders and organizations. Groups such as Community Board 5 (CB 5) have repeatedly come out against this option, citing the issues residents face on a daily basis with the rail freight operations at the Fresh Pond Railyard in Glendale — which also runs through portions of Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood — and fearing a cross harbor tunnel would increase rail use and truck traffic through the neighborhoods.

The earlier plans called for the creation of an intermodal facility in Maspeth, where products would be offloaded from train cars to trucks; residents in the Maspeth area believed this would add thousands of trucks to local streets each day were it ever built. Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke out against the tunnel plan in 2003, and while the proposal was shelved at that time, it resurfaced years later as the Port Authority seeks additional ways to move traffic through the region.
  by Backshophoss
Seems like that "critter" has been talking to that CURES anti-rail group. :P
So SAD. :( :(
  by mtuandrew
Sooooooo if there is such a problem with road congestion on LI, specifically caused by semis and large box trucks, why aren't we skipping the middleman and loading trailers directly onto the barges at Greenville? A load goes to 65th Street, another to Red Hook (delivering artisan coffee beans, paintbrushes, and iPad cases :wink: ), another up Newtown Creek to Maspeth. Maybe a shipment down to Gravesend and Coney Island too, demand warrants.

But seriously though, NYNJ Rail really should sell a trailer-on-ferry and container-on-ferry service from Greenville to 65th St/BAT. It takes six hours? Aw well, it would already have taken three hours to get to Brooklyn at rush hour, another three isn't going to kill anyone for time-insensitive shipments.
  by hrfcarl
Sure this recent talk about such a tunnel will go nowhere, but I have always favored the original alignment (creation of PA NY/NJ) between Brooklyn and Staten Island as it could now be built multi-level to allow freight traffic and connect SIRT to the rest of the subway system allowing not only reduced truck traffic, but bus and ferry as well. I believe the SI side would have used the North Shore branch, if this was option was reconsidered how much of that ROW exists today?

edit: Looked at Google maps which seems to show most of that ROW is intact from the NY Container Terminal until the Port Richmond Water Pollution Plant area where the tunnel would probably start anyway to get decent grades.

Also, when the NY&A lease was coming up for renewal, did the PA NY/NJ consider getting rights to or outright ownership of the Bay Ridge branch to allow a single organization to move freight from North Jersey Shared Assets to Fresh Pond, hopefully cutting waiting and more direct connections.
Last edited by hrfcarl on Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by SlowFreight
I'll repeat my previous thoughts on the matter, posted elsewhere:
I thought the best way to get capacity would be to build a twin-bore freight/passenger tunnel from St. George to Brooklyn 65th Street, and 2 more bores for SIRT, then build double-track across the old North Shore for LIRR/Amtrak/NYA. I guesstimated the whole project at around $7-10B, but for a double-track freight/passenger route it would probably be around $250M less to use the North Shore than to tunnel all the way to Greenville. I figured each bore is about $170M per mile, and that the North Shore route is about a mile less tunnel, but still $100M to build a double-track line along its 5-mile route.

Since Arthur Kill is only a single-track bridge, you could probably save some $$$ by reducing the amount of double-track--but I would still think a double-track tunnel would be needed. In total I'd guess 5 bores: 2 rail, 2 transit, 1 maintenance.

Seems like it would be nice to have a Superliner- and Q-car capable route that goes from Jersey to Connecticut via SI, Brooklyn, and Queens, but local Congressional support seems to want to exclude it. I also thought you'd get more political momentum tying commuter, freight, and subway all into one mega-project. That way, it clearly benefits NYC and NYS, where the Gateway project is always viewed as a NJ requirement.
My estimate of $100M for 5 miles of double track could be light, but recent experience shows tunneling is not the high-risk, high-cost part of these projects. SAS and East Side Access both had the tunnel boring parts completed ahead of schedule. It's all the comm infrastructure that gets installed in the tunnel, and underground stations, that present the risk. So, not having any underground stations, this could be lower-risk...unless there's a geological situation that I don't know about.
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