Volume on the Port of New York and New Jersey’s ExpressRail intermodal rail service at marine terminals jumped 10 percent during the first half of 2012, the port authority reported.
During the first six months of this year, ExpressRail transported a record 228,298 cargo containers from port terminals in Elizabeth and Newark, N.J., and Staten Island, N.Y. The port authority said the gain was partly attributable to a New York-Chicago express rail service that began this year.
The New York Container Terminal at Howland Hook, Staten Island, reported the biggest increase in rail cargo transported, up 45 percent this year.
The port authority has invested $600 million in ExpressRail in an effort to reduce road congestion and air pollution. The agency estimated that ExpressRail resulted in 525,000 fewer truck trips on area roadways in the first half of the year.
At full capacity, the ExpressRail system can handle 1.3 million cargo containers annually and reduce the number of trucks on local roads by 3 million, along with their corresponding emissions, the port authority said.
The port authority’s ExpressRail investments include an 18-track facility straddling the APM and Maher Terminals at Port Elizabeth, and a second lead rail track that allows the facility to simultaneously handle inbound and outbound trains.
In addition, the port authority completed construction in 2009 on a rail support facility along Corbin Street that can handle four 10,000-foot trains daily at the Newark-Elizabeth seaport.
Construction is scheduled for completion next year on a truck bridge that will link the Port Newark Container Terminal with its rail facility on the west side of Corbin Street.