Port Authority completes ExpressRail project

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NEW YORK — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced completion of its ExpressRail Port Jersey facility, the last piece of a $600-million project to build dedicated rail facilities for each of the port’s major container terminals.

The project connects the Port Jersey facility, operated by Global Container Terminals Bayonne, to the CSX and Norfolk Southern rail networks. First opened in January, the facility cost $149 million, with $56 million funded by the Port Authority.

The ExpressRail intermodal project links facilities at Port Jersey with those in Newark; Elizabeth, N.J.; and Staten Island, N.Y.

The Port Jersey facility includes eight tracks for loading and unloading container cargo, two all-electric gantry cranes, and support and storage tracks. It has an annual capacity of 250,000 container lifts, advancing the Port Authority’s goal of handling 900,000 lifts per year — the equivalent of 1.5 million fewer truck trips. The ExpressRail system has a total capacity of 1.5 million container lifts per year.

In a press release, the Port Authority said the completion of ExpressRail, along with the raising of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate ultralarge container vessels, has the port in position to overtake Long Beach, Calif., as the nation’s second-busiest port. Over the last nine years, container traffic at Port Authority ports has grown by 54%.

The authority estimates that, over the life of the Port Jersey facility, the switch from truck to rain transportation will be the equivalent of taking more than 45,300 cars off the road, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 18,300 tons annually.

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