Restoration work on the EPCAL rail spur is now complete, and the next step will be working out agreements to actually get freight trains rolling on it, said Riverhead Town community development director Chris Kempner.
“The rail spur is complete and we are finalizing the details of the operating agreement with New York and Atlantic Railways,” she said, referring to the company that handles freight operations on the Long Island Rail Road.
The $5.5 million rail spur connects to the LIRR’s main line at Connecticut Avenue and then enters the former Grumman naval weapons plant property now called the EPCAL industrial park. It was funded by a $4.8 million federal stimulus grant, along with $650,000 from the state’s Empire State Development Corporation.
Two businesses at EPCAL, Metro Terminals and Eastern Fence, “are very interested in using it as soon as possible,” Ms. Kempner said.
“The rail will make transporting fuel throughout New York a greener and more efficient process,” Metro said in a press release. The company estimates that 100 rail cars can transport the same amount of fuel as 2,500 trucks.
Metro had scheduled a ceremony to mark the opening of its new “biodiesel/bioheat clean fuel blending and distribution center” at EPCAL Wednesday afternoon. (Check RiverheadNewsReview.com for coverage.)
Work on the rail spur began in May 2010. The job was done by New Jersey-based Railroad Construction Company.