Lessening the Impacts of Trucking on the Region’s Highways

Tilcon Connecticut — New Britain, CT


Tilcon Connecticut is one of the largest producers of crushed stone, sand and gravel (construction aggregate), hot mix asphalt (bituminous concrete), and ready-mix concrete in the Northeast. Tilcon provides stone and materials for public works projects as well as local customers, including the general public. The company uses rail to transport materials between many of its quarries and customer locations in Connecticut, New York, and New England.

Tilcon relies heavily on rail, given the company’s supply chain and bulk nature of its products. The company transports approximately half a million tons of material per year via the NEC and P&W Railroad — the equivalent of more than 35,000 truck loads.

Were the NEC not available, the company would have to rely on moving material by truck, which would have a “huge impact” on the company as well as the millions of drivers on the NEC Region’s highways. As Jim Laske, Superintendent of Marine & Rail, describes it, “Where a train might be able to get to its location in a couple of hours, one tie-up on I-95 and everyone is stuck in traffic and your product is not moving…you can’t get the volume that you can by rail.” Mr. Laske said “we’d probably be able to limp along, but we would be extremely limited on what we’d be able to do on our sales end. The availability of trucks is a significant issue…They are costly to operate and there are relatively few of them out there when you look at the number necessary to replace railroad transport. For the amount of volume that we move it would be extremely difficult to maintain business functionality.”

trucks
For Tilcon Connecticut, NEC access allows the firm to transport the equivalent of 35,000 truck loads of freight each year, easing the traffic burden on one of the most congested highway corridors in the nation, like this one in the Bronx, NY. Source: flickr user Gregg Sloan.

“Where a train might be able to get to its location in a couple of hours, one tie-up on I-95 and everyone is stuck in traffic and your product is not moving”

Jim Laske, Superintendent of Marine and Rail, Tilcon Connecticut