New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (and NJ and NY Terminals)   Leave a comment


This post covers the New York New Jersey Rail, LLC and related terminals.

Circa 1919, A railroad car float in the Upper New York Bay. Photo Source:


  • Greenville Yards (Port Jersey)
    • The Greenville Yard takes its name from the former town of Greenville which became part of Jersey City in the 1860s and lie east of New Jersey Route 185. The yard also lends its name to a nearby industrial park and distribution center. The yard was first developed in 1904 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, and opened with three based on designs of their bridges at Harsimus Cove. They were referred to as No.11, No.12, and No.13. A number of different organizations were involved in its construction: the Steele & Condict Company of New Jersey manufactured the bridge mechanisms, Henry Steers, Inc. did the foundation, pile racks, bridges, and aprons, while the Cooper-Wigand-Cooke Company and the R.P. & J.H. Staats Company of New York jointly erected the bridge superstructure and transfer machinery housing. The new designs utilized electric motors and controls, and a live load counterweight system. PRR set the industry standard for electrified lift bridges with this design; virtually identical bridges were built in the Port of New York and New Jersey area by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad at their Oak Point Yard in 1908, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at their St. George, Staten Island terminal in 1912. A fourth bridge, No.14, was added in 1910, and a fifth, No.10, in 1924. This was constructed by the Schuylkill Bridge Works Division of the Lewis F. Shoemaker & Company.The New York New Jersey Rail, LLC, (formerly the New York Cross Harbor Railroad), transfers freight cars across the bay to the Bush Terminal Yard in Brooklyn, New York. This car float operation reduces transfer time since they are not permitted to use New York Tunnel Extension under the Hudson River, Manhattan, and East River. Overland must they cross the Hudson 140 miles (225 km) to the north at Selkirk, New York, making a detour known as the “Selkirk hurdle.” NYNJ leases approximately 27 acres (11 ha) of land at Conrail‘s Greenville Yard, where it connects with two Class I railroadsCSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway – both use Conrail‘s North Jersey Shared Assets Area Access to the national freight rail network and Canadian Pacific Railway is possible via the Lehigh Valley Railroad Bridge to the west or the Long Dock Tunnel to the northwest.
      • History – On January 1, 1931, a short-circuit caused the wooden superstructure of Bridge No.10 to ignite. Within 15 minutes, two more superstructures and the wooden transfer house were ablaze. As there were no roads to the yard, land-based firefighters had to be brought in a mile by rail. There were 50 firefighters and land, and 20 tugs and fire boats. The only injury reported was a fractured ankle, when the employee jumped down a burning stairwell to survive. The car float and 25 cars owned by the NYNH&H that were docked at Bridge No.10 were a total loss, while three other car floats that sustained varying damage were salvageable. All five bridges were put out of service, and freight was rerouted through PRR’s other facilities in Harsimus Cove and Exchange Place, in addition to the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s terminal on the Morris Canal Basin. The fire cost the PRR $500,000 and $1,000,000, which in the 2014 value of the dollar would be between $7,772,000 and $15,550,000. It put unemployed 300 workers, although within two days they were put to work repairing bridges at Greenville or working at other PRR yards in the area. The American Bridge Company was contracted to rebuild the bridges, and were built functionally identical to the previous bridges; the design of the bridges were still extremely efficient, and the only major change was the elimination of any wood. Bridges Nos. 10, 13, and 14 were initially repaired, with No.12 being cleared for rebuilding in 1939. Because of the war, however, the plan was suspended indefinitely. A new bridge, No.9, was later put into service in November 9th, 1943 to satisfy traffic being generated by the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal across the bay. These two facilities were most often the last place troops and supplies went before embarking to Europe.In May 2010, the Port Authority announced that it would purchase the Greenville Yard and build a new barge-to-rail facility there, as well as improving the existing rail car float system. The barge-to-rail facility is expected to handle an estimated 60,000 to 90,000 containers of solid waste per year from New York City, eliminating up to 360,000 trash truck trips a year. The authority’s board authorized $118.1 million for the overall project. The New Jersey Department of Transportation allocated more than $70 million in it 2012 fiscal budget for improvement to the barge and bridge operations.
      • Source:

  • 65th Street Yard, Brooklyn

    Circa 2008, 65th Street Yard from the harbor. Looking southeast at New York New Jersey Rail car float dock from ferry rounding Owls Head. Photo Source:

    • The 65th Street Yard, also Bay Ridge Rail Yard, is a rail yard on the Upper New York Bay in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Equipped with two transfer bridges which allow rail cars to be loaded and unloaded onto carfloats, the last of once extensive car float operations in the Port of New York and New Jersey. Located adjacent to the Brooklyn Army Terminal, it provided a major link in the city’s rail freight network in the first half of the twentieth century. It was later used as a conventional railroad yard at the end of the LIRR/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch. The new transfer bridges were constructed in 1999, but remained unused until the transfer bridges were activated in July 2012.
      • History:  The yard was originally operated by the New Haven. It originally had four electrically operated car float bridges of the Overhead Suspension Contained Apron type (French Patent) and were named in alphabetical order from south to north: “Abie”, “Benny”, “Charlie” and “Davy”. These four transfer bridges handled more than 1000 cars per day from the 1920s to the 1950s. Traffic subsequently declined and the yard was abandoned in 1968, after the New Haven was absorbed in the creation of Penn Central and float operations were ended by PC. The four transfer bridges bridges were removed in the 1970.Around circa 1978, the New York Dock Railway installed a pontoon supported pony plate girder float bridge, moved from Erie Railroad‘s West 28th Street yard in Manhattan. The bridge referred as Brooklyn Army Terminal float bridge, abbreviated BAT, was used until about 1990. Its main purpose was to keep the 65th Street Yard accessible while the First Avenue was reconstructed and the yard could therefore not be reached from the Bush Terminal. The wreck of the bridge is still in the water just off the northwest corner of the yard.[2][3]In 1981 the 65th Street Yard was purchased by the City and State of New York, which paid $2.5 million for the 24-acre site, and the transfer bridges were rebuilt in 1999 at a cost of $20 million.The new transfer bridges appear to be a simplified design: single span with no apron, overhead support, counterbalanced and electrically operated. The design appears to be a varient of the “Baltimore” style of transfer bridge.However these two new transfer bridges had remained unused for car float operations since the New York Cross Harbor Railroad, the successor of New York Dock Railway, abandoned plans to move its operation from Bush Terminal at 50th Street to the 65th Street Yard due to financial disputes between the city and the Railroad.

        The New York Cross Harbor Railroad moved rail cars by barge to and from Greenville Yard in Jersey City. It was purchased in 2006 by Mid Atlantic New England Rail, LLC, which renamed the railroad to New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (NYNJ). In 2008 the railroad was bought by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  The Port Authority also started the restoration of the 65th Street Yard for use by NYNJ in 2011 as part of a $118.1 million investment for the restoration of the existing rail car float system operating between Greenville and sites at 51st and 65th Streets in Brooklyn, N.Y., including the purchase of Greenville Yard.

        In July 2012 the 65th Street Yard was reopened, with one transfer bridge in use with the other kept in a stand by mode. Barge operation will move from Bush Terminal to the 65th Street Yard. The goal of NYNJ is to increase the traffic from the actual 1,600 cars to 23,000 cars by 2017. In the future commodities shall include fruit, home heating oil and new cars.

      • Source:

Circa 2008, View of the 65th Street Yard, also called the Bay Ridge Rail Yard, in Brooklyn, New York. Looking northwest, from downramp of Gowanus Expressway.



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