A container ship docked at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey. No one on the pier knows for sure what exactly the containers carry — anything from frozen chicken to computers.
Credit Jonathan Blakley / NPR
Containers are unloaded off a ship at New Jersey's Port Elizabeth. The global shipping industry took a big hit in the wake of the 2008 worldwide recession, but now companies are building the biggest ships ever.
On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives, and the whole process starts again.
It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. The ships are enormous — some 10 stories high and several football fields long.
This post is being updated throughout the day Sunday.
After a second day of frantic searching failed to uncover the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, ships and aircraft are combing over parts of the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea where the jetliner is suspected of crashing with 239 people aboard more than 48 hours ago.
Vietnamese officials say search planes have spotted an object that could be debris from the jet — but darkness fell in Asia hours ago, complicating any attempts to verify or expand on that claim.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut discussed his priorities for rail safety today in Hartford, in his first hearing as chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation in Washington. Blumenthal stressed the importance of renewed investment in rail infrastructure and strong federal oversight.
A Quinnipiac University poll released today shows Connecticut voters 61 to 32 percent support allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives. Voters were closely divided on whether they would ask a doctor to help them take their own life, as 39 percent say no in all cases, while 33 percent say they would if they were terminally ill.
The plan follows a terrible year for the railroad in 2013, including a derailment and collision in Bridgeport that injured 76 people and a derailment in The Bronx, New York, in which four people were killed.
Governor Dannel Malloy, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin spoke to reporters on a White House conference call over the weekend. The chief executives agree a higher minimum wage is critical to boosting workers’ purchasing power and strengthening the economy.
President Barack Obama is coming to Connecticut on March 5 as part of his campaign to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The visit follows Governor Dannel Malloy’s heated defense of the proposal at a news conference this week in Washington. Governor Malloy urged the General Assembly to pass a bill this year that would raise the state's minimum wage after the president—in his State of the Union address-- called on Congress to implement the policy nationwide.
Two Metro-North Railroad executives said on Thursday that the rail line has slowed down its trains, installed new technology, and changed internal management, all in an effort to make commuter rail service better.
MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast and new Metro-North president Joseph Giulietti met with members of the state legislature's transportation committee to talk about reliability and safety with state lawmakers.
In an unusual move, a Metro-North conductor left a note on passengers' seats Monday morning apologizing for an express train on Friday that never came.
Michael Shaw said he put 500 copies of his written apology on seats after telling passengers at the New Haven, West Haven, Milford, and Stratford stations to wait for an express train that was later canceled. In his note, he said he was "shocked and furious."
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:36 am
A federal agency has issued safety recommendations following December’s fatal Metro-North commuter train derailment in the Bronx. The recommendations come in the form of a letter to Metro-North’s president.
Over 100 people attended a forum in Fairfield on Tuesday night intended for Metro-North commuters to talk about problems plaguing the rail service. Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker attended the event at the Pequot Library and took questions.
Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:25 pm
This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.
A chain reaction of crashes involving dozens of cars and tractor-trailers has left at least 30 people hurt and forced the closure of the eastbound lane on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the town of Bensalem, local news reports.
The lane is now reopened after being closed for much of the day.
Some 100 vehicles were reportedly involved in multiple accidents stemming from an initial 14 or 15-vehicle collision in southern Bucks County at about 8:25 a.m. ET.
With an increasing number of angry rail commuters, and calls by some state legislators for federal intervention, Governor Dannel Malloy opened the door on Monday to the possibility of putting the operation of Metro-North’s New Haven line out for bid.
Governor Malloy announces upgrades to the New Haven line alongside other officials. Behind him, from left: Senator Richard Blumenthal, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, DOT Commissioner James Redeker, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty.
Work on a $10 million project to upgrade the power supply for Metro North’s New Haven Line begins on Monday. The upgrade is aimed at preventing the kind of catastrophic power failure that took place in New York last fall, seriously disrupting service.
Governor Dannel Malloy announced the project Sunday at Union Station in New Haven. “Transportation is the backbone of our economy here in Connecticut,” he said. “As governor, I’ve been clear that we need to invest in bringing our highways and mass transit systems into the 21st century after years of under-investment.”
Governor Dannel Malloy called Thursday night's Metro-North maintenance failure "totally avoidable." The outage brought the entire network of commuter trains to a halt for just under two hours in frigid temperatures.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 11:12 am
More than 40 vehicles, many of them semitrailers, were involved in a massive pileup on a slippery stretch of Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana that killed at least three people and injured 23 others.
As cold weather returns to Connecticut, a slew of potholes are expected to appear around the state. According to Jim Mahoney from the Connecticut Transportation Institute, "This is about as perfect as a setup as you can get for potholes, and unfortunately, every road is susceptible to them."
Democratic New Jersey Assemblymen (from left) Lou Greenwald, John S. Wisniewski and Vincent Prieto take questions at a news conference announcing a renewed investigation into the George Washington Bridge scandal.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:23 pm
By most accounts, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie passed the leadership challenge posed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
But the political storm created by the George Washington Bridge scandal is testing him in different ways, fueled by a combination of factors that make it difficult even for a politician as manifestly self-assured as Christie.
Christie will have a promising opportunity Tuesday to move beyond the mess caused by the politically inspired closing of toll lanes on the nation's busiest bridge in his State of the State speech.
Newly released documents depict officials discussing the controversial September closure of several lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J. Here, the New Jersey side of the bridge, which leads to New York City, is seen Thursday.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:28 pm
A New Jersey State Assembly committee released a trove of documents Friday that shed more light on the bridge lane-closure scandal that is embroiling Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration. The panel is seeking details on what's seen as an act of political retribution, which targeted the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. It obtained the documents under a subpoena.
A group in Connecticut would like to see passenger service restored to the Housatonic Railroad and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty seems willing to explore the idea. The 90-mile-long Housatonic Railroad was chartered prior to the dawn of the Civil War and runs from Massachusetts to Danbury. Currently, it serves only freight trains. Its last passenger train ran in 1971.
A wind chill advisory is in effect from midnight on Monday until 6:00 pm on Tuesday. Strong winds will combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia are a concern as temperatures drop. Precautions should be taken if you are heading outdoors. Wearing gloves and a hat and covering all exposed skin is recommended. Shelters are reaching out to the homeless in advance of dangerously cold temperatures expected overnight and Tuesday.
Fatalities on the roads are going down despite distractions going up. Cell phones, GPS devices, iPods, electronic billboards..there’s no shortage of things to take our attention away from driving.
As we make it through another holiday season, we’ll take a look at our driving habits. Are you driving as safely as you possibly can? Or is the glow of your iPhone pulling your eyes away from the road?