VIDEO: New York & Atlantic promotes benefits of rail freight service

Written by Railway Age Staff
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One short line railroad operating in the world’s biggest city is showing how rail can be a good transportation option, and a good neighbor.

A new video from the New York & Atlantic Railway demonstrates the benefits its freight operations bring to its service area, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, densely populated portions of Long Island and the greater New York City metro region.

The consumer-facing “New York & Atlantic is Your Community Partner” video depicts the positive economic and environmental impacts of a variety of railroad services provided over the 270-mile system of the NY&A, a unit of Chicago-based Anacostia Rail Holdings Company.

“Most people aren’t really aware of what we do, why we do it, and why it is beneficial,” says NYA President James Bonner. “This video dramatically tells that story.”

Using a combination of aerial and surface action videography and interviews, the program stresses key advantages of NYA’s freight service:

  • Efficiency of rail service versus truck, measured not only by thousands of fewer trucks on local streets and highways, but also by a dramatic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions across the region.
  • The strong safety culture practiced by NYA employees and management, including state-of-the-art safety technology.
  • The value of NYA service to 80 separate railroad customers, which together provide thousands of family-supporting jobs.

The carrier, which recently renewed its operating agreement with host Long Island Rail Road, is navigating a changing landscape. Long Island City, at the carrier’s western end, is undergoing redevelopment, and is seeing sales of its first multimillion-dollar apartments. Yet just a few blocks away, the NY&A continues to operate trains to a number of rail-served customers.

The New York & Atlantic serves an edible oils customer, among others, just across the East River from Manhattan, and in the shadow of new development in Long Island City, Railway Age photo by Stuart Chirls

The video showcases a number of commodities that arrive on Long Island by rail, including agricultural products for the food industry, stone and aggregate for road construction, and steel for manufacturing. It also prioritizes safety.

“We hire people with a high level of aptitude,” says Bonner, in the video. “Our employees are incredibly intelligent, and they need to be, because our standards are also incredibly rigid.”

The railroad sees growing opportunities, and says freight activity in the next 30 is expected to increase by 40%.

The video was produced by James Street Associates, a marketing communications firm based in Blue Island, Ill., specializing in supply chain, transportation, and logistics.

Anacostia has also produced videos for its other railroads including Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad, Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company, Northern Lines Railway, and Pacific Harbor Line. ARH also operates Gulf Coast Switching, which on October 1 will mark its 10th anniversary of operations in the Houston, Texas area at Dayton.

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