Bay Ridge Branch

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Bay Ridge Branch
Looking west from 14th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn
Looking west from 14th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn
OwnerLong Island Rail Road
LocaleBrooklyn and Queens, New York City
Termini65th Street Yard
Bushwick Junction
Stations17 (all former)
SystemLong Island Rail Road
Operator(s)New York and Atlantic Railway
Opened1876 (1876)[1]
Completed1883 (1883)[2]
Passenger service ended1924 (1924)[3]
Electrification installed1927 (1927)[4]
Electrification removed1968 (1968)
Number of tracks1–2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

Myrtle Avenue
Cypress Avenue
Cooper Avenue Junction
Wilson Avenue
East New York Tunnels
Bushwick Avenue–Aberdeen Street
Broadway Junction
Atlantic Avenue
Sutter Avenue
Livonia Avenue
New Lots Avenue
Linden Shops
Vanderveer Park
Kings County Central Junction
Ocean Avenue
Third Avenue
Bay Ridge
65th Street Yard
NYNJ car floats
across Hudson River

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.[5]


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.[6] An extension north from East New York to Cooper Avenue (and then northwest to Greenpoint, later the Evergreen Branch) opened in 1878,[7] 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.[2]

Passenger service on the line ended in 1924.[3] 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).[4] Electric operation ended on December 31, 1968.[8]

Triple track sharing an open cut with BMT Sea Beach Line (left)
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.[9] In 1996 the Regional Plan Association conducted a study to determine the feasibility of the rail link.[10] Based on Paris's RER commuter rail system, the Triboro RX proposal would create a loop around the city. It was first proposed by the Regional Plan Association in 1996. The proposed line, discussion of which was revived in 2012, would connect to all non-shuttle subway services.[11] 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, including MoveNY,[12] call for it to end at Hunts Point,[9] while others suggest it end at Yankee Stadium.[11]

In mid-October 2019, the MTA announced that it would study the feasibility of restoring passenger service on the Bay Ridge Branch, a portion of the proposed Triboro RX route.[13]

Former stations[edit]

The following passenger stations once existed on the line:[14]

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 Connection to the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad[15]
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 named Flatlands
Kouwenhoven July 18, 1877 May 14, 1924
Rugby 1888 May 14, 1924 Originally named Ford's Corners
New Lots Road July 18, 1877 1897
East New York July 18, 1877 May 14, 1924 Junction with Atlantic Branch, originally named 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 named Dummy Crossing, then Ridgewood
Myrtle Avenue May 16, 1878 1924 At the intersection with Fresh Pond Road
Fresh Pond Junction June 2, 1883 1894 Junction with Lower Montauk Branch, originally named Fresh Pond, continues as the New York Connecting Railroad

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "PRR Chronology, 1876" (PDF). (116 KiB), April 2005 Edition
  2. ^ a b Interstate Commerce Commission, Valuation Report, New York, Brooklyn and Manhattan Beach Archived June 26, 2002, at
  3. ^ a b "INVENTORY OF DECKING OPPORTUNITIES OVER TRANSPORTATION PROPERTIES Final Report: 6.2: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD OPEN CUTS: BROOKLYN" (PDF). New York City Department of City Planning. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "PRR Chronology, 1927" (PDF). (100 KiB), July 2004 Edition
  5. ^
  6. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1877" (PDF). (156 KiB), April 2005 Edition
  7. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1878" (PDF). (126 KiB), June 2006 Edition
  8. ^ "LONG DARK ROAD. The Bay Ridge LIRR branch - Forgotten New York". Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "How About A Subway Linking Brooklyn, Queens & The Bronx WITHOUT Manhattan?". Gothamist. August 22, 2013. Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  10. ^ Third Regional Plan Summary Archived July 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "The surprising return of the three-borough 'X line' subway - Capital New York". Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  12. ^ MoveNY home page
  13. ^ "Advocates Push to Revive Three Old Rail Lines in City". Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "Bay Ridge line".
  15. ^ Manhattan Beach Division Timetable; June 1884 (TrainsAreFun)

External links[edit]

Route map:

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