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Paul Victor, President NY & Atlantic RR

July 31, 2009 @ 12:00 am EDT


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Members and Friends   

This morning our guest speaker was Paul Victor, president of NY & Atlantic Rail road. NY&A is the freight rail company that serves Long Island. Paul is a real railroad man having worked in various capacities in railroads across the country, as well as South America and Africa

Long Island is the "end of the line" for many of the nationwide fright lines that operate in the US, and NY&A facilitates the operations of all that come here.

The products that are carried best by rail are heavy loads such as rock, building materials and construction debris. But there are also a lot of shipments in consumables too. Beer is a big item and it is transported in from as far away as Mexico.

The railroad calls itself a "green industry" by virtue of the fact that so little fuel is used to move the materials it carries, while displacing thousands of trucks. Mr. Victor told us that fuel costs are one of their smallest expenses.

And speaking of expenses, the personnel needed to run the operation is incredibly small. Thirty nine people run the whole operation. The personnel are all cross-trained. The president himself must have thorough knowledge of the system including the ability to run a train as an engineer, and he will occasionally.

He explained the relationship that NY&L has with the LIRR. They must take a second position on the rails, giving priority to passenger train operations.

In the Q&A portion we discussed the limitations the freight had in terms of weight allowances and clearances. Some of these limits have been corrected since Mr. Victor’s predecessor spoke at LIMBA. Other items are still outstanding.

The proposed building of a tunnel into Brooklyn (Congressman Nadler’s concept) will serve the freight system well, but that is many years off. More immediate benefits will be realized by the refurbishing of the "float system" that was recently taken over by the NY Port Authority. PA of NY purchased the rail company that comes to the shoreline on the Jersey side. From there cars are floated to Brooklyn where they enter the established rail system that comes to Long Island

To have a fully functioning rail system the height requirements in all tunnels and bridges must be 22′. This will allow freight cars to flow seamlessly in out of the city and Long Island and complete a journey any where in the country without having to reload on smaller freight cars.  Are we there yet? No, but we’ll keep you posted. Mr. Victor said he would be happy to return next year to give us an update.

This meeting was sponsored by Brian Dolan and HDR Engineering

Ernie Fazio