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Freight Rails Update – Fred Krebs

July 28, 2006 @ 12:00 am EDT


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Our speaker this morning was NY & Atlantic RR’s president, Fred Krebs. Mr Krebs began freight operations on Long Island about the middle of year in 1997. Since then the increase of freight has been relatively constant with the exception of the balance of 2001 and 2002.(due to 9/11)

In 1998, which was the first full year 9468 freight cars were moved off and on Long Island. This year we are on schedule to move 21,500 rail cars. This resulted in 956,175 truckloads being removed from our highways.


Two years ago Coastal Distribution built a Transload Center as an agent to service the railroad’s freight distribution which includes, lumber, appliances, stone aggregate, steel, and many other commodities, as well as demolition removal business. After carefully designing and incorporating the required dust suppression and all other requirements they (Coastal and NY&Atlantic) approached the town of Babylon to get any permits that may be needed. The town said they were on railroad property and exempt from local control. The facility was built and went into business. That facility alone removed more than 37,000 truckloads from our highways since it opened two years ago.


According to Krebs, after the fact, the Town of Babylon got a “stop work order” The case went to court and the town lost. The case went back to court in a higher jurisdiction and the town lost again. The magistrate said that Coastal and the railroad had every right to operate in accordance with the federal rules.


Our position at LIMBA has been that freight rails can and must replace as much long haul trucking as possible. The damage to the roads, the air pollution caused by the trucks, and the road congestion is not tolerable.


Recently, the town went to a friendly state Senator, Owen Johnson and Legislator, Robert Sweeney to write legislation that would give the town the powers to regulate the railroads. According to NY & Atlantic president Fred Kreb “There is not a single thing that you can do damage the movement of freight than this legislation.” It appears that the owners of Pinelawn Cemetery are behind this legislation.


Krebs told us that there has not been a single complaint on the operation in two years of operation.

I wrote a letter to governor Pataki asking him not to sign this legislation. It is our position that the players have to talk to each other, and if there are any legitimate concerns, work them out. A copy of the text of that letter is attached.


Later in the day I spoke to a Town of Babylon employee in the supervisors office, and asked that the supervisor come to LIMBA and explain what, at the moment, appears to be inexplicable. If the town is bending to the wishes of a well connected individual, that is in appropriate. Legislation should have the welfare of the general public in mind and not the parochial interests of an individual. I hope Mr. Bellone sees fit to speak to us. We will give the same opportunity to state his case on this issue, as well as any other issue he has on his mind.

Pictured: Joe Rutigliano, Coastal Distributors,Kevin Gershowitz, Gershow Recycling, Fred Krebs, NY&Atlantic RR, Martin Sternberg, Coastal Distributors