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New Jersey Rail Freight Assistance Program

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) solicits proposals for new rail projects annually. Those that meet the minimum criteria are entered into the program. Then NJDOT selects those it will be able to fund in the current fiscal year and those that it will consider for funding within the next two years. From 1994 to the present, the State of New Jersey has provided more than $65 million for rail projects through the New Jersey Rail Freight Assistance Program (pdf 91k). Each year the plan is updated, the goals are reviewed and new projects are added.

Since 2004, the state has provided funding for 90 percent of the estimated cost of each project while the railroad (or other sponsor) has provided the remaining 10 percent. The Summary (pdf 25k) lists each project that has been accepted into the New Jersery Rail Freight Assistance Program every fiscal year since 2003 with the individual total cost and the funded amount.

Express Rail

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is making significant investments to increase rail capacity at Port Elizabeth and Newark. The improvements have already tripled the capacity for on-dock rail service, and the Authority is continuing to increase rail capacity at the port to handle the ever-increasing number of containers.

North Jersey Development Plan

This ongoing program is a public-private partnership among the State of New Jersey, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Conrail, Norfolk Southern Corporation and CSX Transportation to construct a series of improvements in support of improving rail service to Port Newark and Port Elizabeth. Phase 1 projects, costing over $50 million include improvements to signal systems, rail yards, and the restoration of double track on the Lehigh Line.


The ongoing Mid-Atlantic Rail Operations Study (MAROPS) consists of
  • five states in the Mid-Atlantic Region -- New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia;
  • three Class I Railroads -- CSX, NS and Amtrak; and
  • the I-95 Corridor Coalition Intermodal Program Track -- a ground-breaking effort for the project partners and for transportation planning and analysis.
The project studies rail bottlenecks in the five states and identified 71 Capital and ITS projects that could be undertaken to improve mobility, particularly for freight in that region. The work undertaken and achieved in MAROPS has become nationally known, respected and admired and has been heavily publicized. More information is available for this project.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  February 21, 2012