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Photo courtesy New York and Atlantic Railway
Photo courtesy New York and Atlantic Railway
New York and Atlantic Railway will be moving their train repair track out of the Fresh Pond Rail Yard in Glendale.

Things may soon be quieter for Glendale residents living along Otto Road near the Fresh Pond Railyard, as New York & Atlantic Railway (NYA) will move its train repair facility out of the neighborhood by the end of the month.

Congresswoman Grace Meng — who has been keeping a watchful eye on NYA, especially since the crash in Maspeth in 2015 that involved an NYA train — and several other elected officials made the announcement on June 16 of the plan to move the repair facility.

Under this new plan, NYA will relocate its “Track 11” repair line to a non-residential area in East New York that neighbors the L train, NYA’s East New York Tunnel and the existing NYA rail yard.

Currently, the repair track runs along Otto Road from 67th Place to 69th Place and is used to fix rail cars. Repair operations on the track include changing of wheels and break shoes; fixing mechanical problems; and repainting identifying letters and numbers on locomotives. These operations often involve noisy hammering, drilling, welding and the use of other loud machinery.

“NYA’s plan to transfer its repair operations is good news for Glendale residents who have long been plagued by noise caused by these rail car repairs,” Meng said. “I thank NYA for making this decision. I look forward to building on this positive development, and working further with company officials to address other train-related issues that impact the community.”

NYA plans to have the repair track moved out of the area by the end of June.

“NYA is proud to have worked closely with Congresswoman Meng and other elected officials and community leaders to bring this benefit to our neighbors,” said NYA President James Bonner. “We have historically engaged in improvements when we can do so in a way that allows us to preserve the benefits we provide to our customers and residents of Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. We look forward to continuing the positive collaboration evidenced by this project.”

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, state Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblyman Mike Miller, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi also applauded the move, noting it was a major step forward for Glendale residents who had suffered from quality-of-life issues due to the loud train repairs.

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Mary Parisen, Chair June 16, 2017 / 10:55PM
Repair operations take place during the day. Classification -- with noise over 100 decibels in some homes -- takes place at night.
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Mary Parisen, Chair June 16, 2017 / 05:07PM
Taxpayers funded the current repair shop through the Fourth Amendment to the Transfer Agreement.
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Mary Parisen, Chair June 16, 2017 / 04:06PM
It may not be not as simple as, "NYAR is providing a community benefit." The question has to be asked, "What's NYAR getting out of it, and at whose cost?" 1. Is the community going to pay in some way we can't yet foresee? How will NYAR's track use and operations at Fresh Pond Yard change once this repair facility moves? Is this change really going to yield net community benefits -- less noise? Remember when NYAR announced a public benefit -- less noise and emissions for Middle Village residents? NYAR said they were moving brake testing and pickup out of Middle Village. However, within two weeks the pick up operation was right back in Middle Village because NYAR took the opportunity to increase the length of the trains. In 2016 CUNY scientists measured 100+ decibel levels from NYAR's night time classification operations INSIDE homes. Vibrations from these operations cause cracks in residents' properties. Moving repair operations won't fix poor training, supervision, car handling, and employees rushing through tasks without employing best practices that cause such excessive noise and vibration. 2. Are workers going to pay? Is NYA going to use regular employees or "contractors" at the new facility? Contractors = less personnel expense and other ways to plump up profits and cut corners. If we understand this correctly, this location is several miles from Fresh Pond via the Bay Ridge. It takes about 30 minutes to drive there from Glendale, and access is via a gate, then driving down a ramp. There are no facilities there. There's no water except drainage accumulation in the tunnels. Is NYAR going to build something with running water, heat and a bathroom? If not, this will put workers into a primitive work environment. Unless we are missing something, in the winter exiting and entering could be dangerous because they will have to lock and unlock the gate every time they enter or leave. This involves getting out of the vehicle. Do the tunnels there still have homeless people and are they drug shooting galleries? 3. Will taxpayers pay? Who's paying for the new facility? Is NYAR promoting the idea that there is a community benefit in order to justify taxpayers footing their bill again? Taxpayers funded the current repair shop with $500,000 of public funding, as contracted in the Fourth Amendment to the Transfer Agreement. See below. NYAR was in charge of the repair shop project. It was supposed to be 100% publicly funded, but we understand that NYAR had to reach in their own pockets because the contractor they picked took the money and didn't complete the job. What's the public benefit of repeatedly building new facilities for a private company at public expense?
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