State funding will help CSX transform a central New York rail yard into a modern intermodal hub for international freight.
The New York State Department of Transportation awarded $19 million toward construction of Central New York’s first Inland Port in DeWitt, to help move containerized freight between the Port of New York and New Jersey and the existing CSX terminal east of Syracuse.
The DOT in a release said that the infrastructure investment would facilitate the efficient and cost-effective movement of containerized freight from marine terminals by rail instead of trucks.
“The reduced shipping costs and environmental benefits of transportation by rail will make regional exports such as agricultural products, metals and wood to Asia and other international destinations more competitive,” the agency stated.
“With the completion of projects by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to enhance shipping and freight capacity, New York State is now positioned to accept some of the world’s largest container ships,” Acting DOT Commissioner Karas said. “Governor Cuomo’s support of the new Central New York containerized handling facility will reduce shipping costs and make the region’s exports more economically competitive both nationally and internationally.”
The DOT said almost 80% of all freight in New York State moves by truck, and is projected to increase by more than 50% over the next 20 years.
The state will assist CSX with the realignment and modernization of the existing rail yard at DeWitt to handle international shipping containers, including installing new crane equipment and lifts; upgrading security and deploying technology enhancements to allow for International import/export services, and constructing new areas at the yard for the stacking and handling of shipping containers.
In addition to leveraging privately-funded complementary improvements made along the rail corridor serving the region, the project will reduce the transportation costs of moving freight between the Port of New York and New Jersey and Central New York by as much as $500 per container; facilitate regional economic growth through increased exports by five-day per week reliable rail service; retain and create freight-related jobs, and remove large trucks from both the New York Metropolitan area and from Interstate 81.
When fully operational, this new intermodal import-export service will handle approximately 30,000 containers annually. The largest intermodal hub in NewYork, DeWitt handles approximately 70,000 container each year.
The state funding is part of a $65 million initiative established by Cuomo to renew and modernize upstate port and rail-hub infrastructure. That has included $15 million for the Port of Albany and $10 million for the Port of Ogdensburg.
“CSX appreciates the opportunity to partner with the State of New York on this intermodal project that will leverage the environmental and public benefits of rail to enhance connectivity between the PANYNJ and Upstate New York,” said CSX Vice President of Intermodal Dean Piacente. “The state’s investment in this project will allow CSX to increase the capacity of our Dewitt terminal near Syracuse to support international intermodal service, creating a distinct competitive advantage for the state and expanding market access for the region’s businesses and consumers.”
Port Authority Port Department Director Molly Campbell said that growing intermodal volume through the port “is a strategic priority. In addition to the environmental benefits, rail service to and from the port provides a competitive transportation option and access to international markets for businesses in upstate New York.”