New York New Jersey Rail, LLC is a switching and terminal railroad that operates the only car float operation across Upper New York Bay between Jersey City, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York. It is the last remaining car float operation in the Port of New York, on the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn end, the 6-acre Bush Terminal Yard and the 65th Street Yard connect to the New York and Atlantic Railways Bay Ridge Branch and the South Brooklyn Railway. The 2.5 mile barge trip across the harbor takes approximately 45 minutes, the equivalent trip by truck is 35-50 miles. As of 2012, the NYNJ system moves approximately 1,500 rail cars across the harbor per year, Port Authority officials suggested that the system can transport as many as 25,000 cars annually. NYNJ replaced two EMD GP38-2 with three locomotives from Knoxville Locomotive Works in Tennessee for $5 million. As of July, the system had moved about 4900 rail cars in 2015, from 1983 to 2006, the operation was known as the New York Cross Harbor Railroad. In 1999 the city of New York rehabilitated the larger 65th Street Yard for car float operations with two lift bridges and it was not turned over to NYCH because of a dispute over money owed the city. NYCH continued to use the lift bridge at Bush Terminal instead. In 2002, New York Cross Harbor Railroad revenues from operations were $1,685,899. It had 48 active customers, with shipments of cocoa from docks in Brooklyn as its largest line of business and it also operated a trucking service and offered shipside and dockside service for receipt or delivery of various types of cargo, such as oversized steel beams. NYCH ceased to exist in 2006, new company Mid-Atlantic New England Rail, LLC in West Seneca, New York bought the railroad and renamed it New York New Jersey Rail, the city of New York purchased the company two years later. The Port Authority began working with government agencies in New York, in May 2010 the Port Authority announced that it would purchase 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 waste per year from New York City. The authoritys board authorized $118.1 million for the overall project, in November 2011 the Port Authority hired HDR, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska to rehabilitate Greenville Yard. In July 2012 NYNJ began operating out of the 65th Street Yard, initial cargo included apples, home heating oil, new automobiles, and scrap metal. On October 29,2012 Hurricane Sandy caused major damage to the Greenville facility, undermining the float bridge gantries, the 81-year-old gantry structures were ultimately demolished. The working float bridge at Bush Terminal was transferred by barge to Greenville, service was restored in late December, after 52 days of intensive reconstruction. The Port Authority will also build two new rail to barge transfer bridges, purchase two new car float barges, each with 18 rail car capacity, and buy four new ultra low emission locomotives, the new facility is expected to become operational in July 2016
The 65th Street Yard in Brooklyn, refurbished in 1999 by the city of New York. The refurbished yard was placed in service for car floats in July 2012.
The 65th Street Yard from the harbor.
A railroad car float in the Upper New York Bay, 1919. Similar barges are still used today.