The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) recently announced the completion of two major components of a $600-million ExpressRail project. The projects are expected to enable 1.3-million cargo containers to be shipped by rail-- taking approximately three million trucks off state and local roads.

The agency said it finished construction of a second lead track to the ExpressRail Elizabeth, NJ, facility that will allow trains to arrive and depart simultaneously. In addition, construction was completed on a rail support facility that will be able to handle four 10,000-ft trains daily.

According to the announcement, these projects are the culmination of a multiyear effort to promote the use of rail to transport cargo and are expected to attract new cargos and new services to the Ports. In anticipation of this rail capacity expansion, Norfolk Southern has already developed a new direct service to Harrisburg, PA, and CSX will begin a new direct service to Buffalo at the end of September.

“Completing these two major components of ExpressRail, 18 months ahead of schedule, will ensure our port’s future competitiveness and help us remove millions of truck trips annually from our local roads,” said PANYNJ Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “This is a win-win for the economy and the environment.”