Bay Ridge Branch

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In Boro Park

The Bay Ridge Branch is a rail line owned by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and operated by the New York and Atlantic Railway in New York City. It is the longest freight-only line of the LIRR, connecting the Montauk Branch and CSX Transportation's Fremont Secondary (to the Hell Gate Bridge) at Glendale, Queens with the Upper New York Bay at Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Car float service provided by New York New Jersey Rail operates between Greenville Yard at Greenville, New Jersey and the 65th Street Yard at the Bay Ridge end of the line.

History[edit]

Triple track, sharing an open cut with BMT Sea Beach Line (left)
The Bay Ridge Branch viewed from the 62nd Street station.

The first part of the line was opened by the New York, Bay Ridge and Jamaica Railroad in 1876, from Bay Ridge to the crossing of the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad near New Utrecht.[1] An extension from New Utrecht east and northeast to New Lots opened in 1877, and at the same time the New York and Manhattan Beach Railway opened the line from New Lots north to East New York.[2] An extension north from East New York to Cooper Avenue (and then northwest to Greenpoint, later the Evergreen Branch) opened in 1878,[3] and the Long Island City and Manhattan Beach Railroad (incorporated February 24, 1883, merged with the New York and Manhattan Beach and New York, Bay Ridge and Jamaica into the New York, Brooklyn and Manhattan Beach Railway August 27, 1885) built from Cooper Avenue north to the Montauk Branch at Glendale in 1883.[4] The entire line was electrified, starting on July 8, 1927, for New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad freight trains coming off the New York Connecting Railroad (Hell Gate Bridge).[5] Electric operation ended on December 31, 1968.[citation needed]

Stations[edit]

The following passenger stations once existed on the line:[6]

Station Date
opened
Date
closed
Notes
Bay Ridge 1893 May 14, 1924 Connection to 65th Street Yard
Third Avenue June 2, 1883 May 14, 1924
Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad Crossing June 2, 1883 1894 Crossing with the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad
Parkville June 2, 1883 1884
Manhattan Beach Junction 1884 1915 Former junction with the Manhattan Beach Branch
Kings County Central Junction June 29, 1878 late 1878
Vanderveer Park 1878 May 14, 1924 Originally Flatlands
Kouwenhoven July 18, 1877 May 14, 1924
Rugby 1888 May 14, 1924 Originally Ford's Corners
New Lots Road July 18, 1877 1897
East New York July 18, 1877 May 14, 1924 Junction with Atlantic Branch
Originally Manhattan Crossing
Bushwick Avenue July 18, 1877 1897 Originally Central Avenue
Cooper Avenue Junction May 16, 1878 May 1882 Junction with Evergreen Branch
Cypress Avenue 1888 May 14, 1924 Originally Dummy Crossing, then Ridgewood
Myrtle Avenue May 16, 1878 May 1882
Bushwick Junction June 2, 1883 1894 Junction with Lower Montauk Branch
Originally Fresh Pond
Continues as New York Connecting Railroad

Proposals[edit]

Crossing Ralph Avenue

A proposed Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel from New Jersey to Brooklyn would use the Bay Ridge Branch to reach the rest of Long Island, with the line upgraded to double-stack clearances.

Another proposal would have the New York City Subway use the tracks to link Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx via the Hell Gate Bridge.[7] In 1996 the Regional Plan Association conducted a study to determine the feasibility of the rail link.[8] Based on Paris's RER commuter rail system, the Triboro RX proposal will create a loop around the city. It was first proposed by the Regional Plan Association in 1996, and has been denounced as disastrous by some.[9] The proposed line, discussion of which was revived in 2012, would connect to all non-shuttle subway services.[10] Obstacles for the proposal include the proposed Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel, the lack of electrification on the line, and the single-tracking in some parts of the line. Additionally, there is debate on where the line's northern terminus would be: some project it to end at Hunts Point,[7] while others plan the line to end at Yankee Stadium.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]