Digest: New York announces plans to connect High Line to Moynihan Train Hall

News Wire Digest third section for Jan. 11: Reading & Northern increases traffic, revenue in 2020; Long Island Rail Road completes yard expansion that will allow more rush-hour service
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New York's popular High Line park will be extended to reach the new Moynihan Train Hall.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Still more Monday morning rail news:

New York to connect High Line to Moynihan Train Hall
New York’s High Line, the former elevated rail line turned into a hugely popular Lower West Side park, will be expanded with a 1,200-foot elevated walkway connecting the 1.45-mile linear park with the newly opened Moynihan Train Hall adjacent to Penn Station. The New York Times reports Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the project, with an estimated cost of $60 million, on Sunday. The announcement offered no details on a timeline for construction.

Reading & Northern increases carloads, revenue despite pandemic
The Reading & Northern Railroad records for carloadings and freight revenue in 2020, a year that saw decreased traffic for the industry as a whole because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release, the railroad says it moved over 34,000 carloads and had a revenue increase of almost 4%, and coal business increased in tonnage and revenues. The company’s Ransom, Pa., warehouse saw a 54% increase in carloads, and its steel coil transload facility in West Hazleton, Pa., in its first full year of operation, helped take 700 trucks off the highway. It also was boosted by a new industrial park in West Hazelton. The company moved 91,000 people in passenger operations that were limited by the pandemic, purchased 17 locomotives, 143 coal hoppers, a welded rail train, and 34,000 ties.

Long Island Rail Road completes yard project allowing expansion of rush-hour service
The Long Island Rail Road has completed a $136 million expansion of its Mid-Suffolk Yard in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., which will allow the railroad to increase morning rush-hour service on its Main Line by 50%. Newsday reports construction began in late 2017 and resulted in a facility with 22 storage tracks capable of holding a 12-car trainset. It more than doubles the capacity of the former Ronkonkoma Yard, and along with the ongoing addition of a third track on the Main Line, will allow for the expansion of service once the East Side Access project, providing a direct route to Grand Central Terminal, is complete. But, as the newspaper reports, the reduction of ridership resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic means it could be years before the railroad needs the added capacity.

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