Bay Ridge Branch
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.
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. 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. An extension north from East New York to Cooper Avenue (and then northwest to Greenpoint, later the Evergreen Branch) opened in 1878, 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.
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). Electric operation ended on December 31, 1968.
The following passenger stations once existed on the line:
- Bay Ridge
- Third Avenue
- Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad Crossing
- Manhattan Beach Junction
- Kings County Central Junction
- Vanderveer Park, originally Flatlands
- Rugby, originally Ford's Corners
- New Lots Road
- East New York
- Bushwick Avenue, originally Central Avenue
- Cypress Avenue, originally Dummy Crossing, then Ridgewood
- Myrtle Avenue
- Bushwick Junction, originally Fresh Pond
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. In 1996 the Regional Plan Association conducted a study to determine the feasibility of the rail link. Based on Paris's RER commuter rail system, the Triboro RX proposal will create a loop around the city.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bay Ridge Branch (Long Island Rail Road).|
- PDF (116 KiB), April 2005 Edition
- PDF (156 KiB), April 2005 Edition
- PDF (126 KiB), June 2006 Edition
- Interstate Commerce Commission, Valuation Report, New York, Brooklyn and Manhattan Beach
- PDF (100 KiB), July 2004 Edition
- Long Island Rail Road History Website: The Bay Ridge Branch
- "How About A Subway Linking Brooklyn, Queens & The Bronx WITHOUT Manhattan?". Gothamist. August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- Third Regional Plan Summary
- A visual tour of the line
- Additional images and commentary
- History of the proposals for conversion to mass transit
- Study and proposal for integration within NYC subway system
- Proposal for cross harbor freight tunnel