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Brookhaven Rail Terminal – Next phase
November 18, 2011 @ 12:00 am EST
Our speakers today were the operators of the Brookhaven Rail Terminal, Gerry Drumm and Andy Kaufman
Many years ago under the leadership of our founder, Paul Townsend, LIMBA set as an objective the improvement of rail freight on Long Island. Two years ago LIMBA invited the BRT owners to explain what they thought they could accomplish. We saw what they wanted to do and enthusiastically endorsed their efforts. The town, under the leadership of Supervisor Mark Lesko, embraced the idea as well. The community was contacted and they expressed what concerns them. Those concerns were answered by the principals. This is the best and most successful coordination of interested parties I have seen in a long, long time. This was a text book example of smart negotiations.
How important is this rail freight installation? We at LIMBA set a goal of creating a system that would increase rail freight capacity from 2% to 10%. We thought that was an ambitious goal, and it is, but consider this. Going to 10% will remove 300,000 tractor trailers from the LIE. This installation alone will remove 100,000 trucks from the LIE in the first year. Furthermore the BRT is only built out on 28 acres. They can expand as they build their business on the remaining 90 acres. In other words they will come close to removing 300,000 trucks with just this facility. The reduced air pollution, road congestion, and the reduced need for road repair represents a major win for Long Island.
The BRT yard will handle aggregate, lumber, appliances, and generally any cargo that does not need special treatment such as refrigeration. The future plans will include refrigerated warehousing and dry shelter
There is so much more that can be done, however. A few years ago we invited Congressman Nadler to speak at LIMBA, and he has been a champion of creating a cross harbor freight tunnel from Bayonne to Brooklyn. That tunnel has seen new life recently, but that will take a number of years to complete. Meanwhile the rail freight barge that connects Bayonne to Brooklyn has been refurbished by the Port Authority. That effort also lends itself to increased rail freight to Long Island. The network of tracks that exist under Brooklyn is extensive and a great asset as we move into the future.
There has been $25million invested so far, when completed $100 million will have been invested
The other cooperating entities are the Long Island Railroad under the leadership of Helena Williams and New York and Atlantic Railroad’s Paul Victor. Yes we can get big things done with the right projects and the right efforts. Judy White was the coordinator of this effort.
Congratulations to all.