LIMBA Rail Freight Initiative- A Big Win for Long Island
Many months ago LIMBA invited the principals of the new Brookhaven Rail Terminal to make a presentation of their proposed plans.
This week we experienced what on the surface looks like a small victory. It was in fact a great beginning. The Brookhaven Rail Terminal opened on Sills Rd, Yaphank. This is a facility that was built when all the pundits were saying that it didn’t stand a chance.
LIMBA has been advocating for more robust rail freight service for many years, and the progress was almost nil until now. This 28 acre facility has an adjoining 80 acres available for expansion. It will handle 500,000 tons of construction material, but by 2016 it will be handling a million tons of goods. With further build-out it will handle much more. In the present configuration BRT expects to remove 20,000 trucks from the LIE in the first year.
Our advocacy calls for at least 2 more facilities such as this. Fully developed these transload yards will remove 300,000 trucks from the expressway
The parties that need to be congratulated are many but here are few. Supervisor Lesko for his vision and cooperation, Pratt Bros. Construction for the creation of the site and US Rail for funding and operating this enterprise. US Rail had the full cooperation of Helena Williams, president of LIRR and NY & Atlantic Railroad, the rail freight operator on Long Island. The Yaphank Civic Association cooperated and asked for some concessions on the physical appearance of the site with tree plantings that surround the operation. Judy White of C12 Communications has been assisting the company from the beginning and did a remarkable job of assembling an enthusiastic chorus of support, and Long Island has won a big job enhancing entity. I will ask her to bring the principals back to LIMBA and have them restate their plans for future development. Meanwhile, congratulations to all.