Bay Ridge Branch

Bay Ridge Branch - R. Emery Maps 

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Myrtle Ave. to Cooper Ave. 
Archive: Dave Keller
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Montauk Branch to Myrtle Ave. NYCRR
 Fremont Tower  Archive: Dave Keller
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Cooper Ave. to East NY Tunnel
Evergreen Branch connection
BMT Canarsie line running parallel
Archive: Dave Keller
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East NY Tunnel to Liberty Ave. 
Abandoned East NY passenger station
LIRR Atlantic Ave. line crossing below
Info/Archive: Dave Keller

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Under the Evergreens Cemetery  into daylight and Brooklyn, under the Atlantic Ave 1914 Grade Crossing Elimination Overpass. Under  the signal, still evident, is the 1914 build date
Photo: Steven Lynch 06/17/2000

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Proceeding south for the 11.4 mile trip from Fresh Pond to Bay Ridge, NYA #261 "tunnels" under the Cemetery of the Evergreens and emerges, both into daylight and Brooklyn, under the Atlantic Ave 1914 Grade Crossing Elimination Photo: Steven Lynch 06/17/2000

Although, East NY Tunnel to Liberty Ave. is dated  03/10/1958, it shows the earlier configuration of  tracks inside the tunnel. Info: Dave Keller

Ex-Track No.4 removed and tunnel sealed 1939 (eastern tunnel portal, far right in photo)

Ex-Track No. 2 Electric High Platform: "ex-Fulton St. ( East New York ) passenger station at MP7
1”, not in use 10/58 (remnant photo at right)

Track No. 1 in use

Ex-Track No. 3 electric removed 1952 (far left tunnel portal, photo at right)  Info: Steve Lynch

Note 1: 

The stairs from the street to the high-level station platform were removed “c. 1924” according to the map.  No “circa” about it . . . . they WERE removed in 1924 (see below).  Therefore, the station was no longer in use as of that date.  No pedestrian access to the platform meant station out of service.  

AND . . . when in use, the station stop was called “ Fulton Street .” Prior to the 1914 elimination it was referred to on Bay Ridge/Manhattan Beach branch timetables as “Manhattan Crossing” and not “ East New York ,” probably to not be confused with the ENY station stop along the Atlantic branch.

1924 would be the proper closure date, because passenger service was to Manhattan Beach only (not Bay Ridge), utilizing what we know as the Bay Ridge branch to Manhattan Beach Junction (joint branch at the time) and “MJ” tower then heading south on its own trackage (Manhattan Beach branch ONLY) to Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach.

Passenger service to Man. Bch. ended in 1924, although the tracks remained in for some years afterward for freight moves.  Therefore, the high-level station at Fulton Street (ENY) would have been abandoned at that time. Notes/Research: Dave Keller

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"KN" Cabin Area  R. Emery
Info/Archive: Dave Keller 

Illustrates the tracks from the tunnel southward after the Atlantic Ave 1914 Grade Crossing Elimination. (left)

 

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Eastern Pkwy to Pennsylvania Ave
Detail of Atlantic Ave area
Archive: Dave Keller

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East New York Station c.1938 view W
Archive: Dave Keller

 

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East New York Station 1907 
Archive: Dave Keller

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East New York Station c.1938 view SW
Archive: Dave Keller

 

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East New York Tower 1903, later  renamed "NO" Tower, 1907.  View looking west along Atlantic branch.  Cross tracks are: Bay Ridge/ Manhattan Beach branch
Info/Archive: Dave Keller

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East New York Station, LIRR Atlantic Ave., view west from Snediker Ave., Brooklyn, NY, post card 1912

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Liberty Ave. to Sutter Ave. 
Archive: Dave Keller
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Liberty Ave. to Sutter Ave. 
Blake Ave. Yard 05/1908 
Archive: Dave Keller

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South end of Blake Ave. Yard at Riverdale Ave. to Rockaway Ave. Yard 1905
Archive: Dave Keller

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Sutter Ave to MP 8
Archive: Dave Keller
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MP 8 to Rockaway Ave.
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Rockaway Ave. to E. 83rd St.
Former Fords Corners (later Rugby) passenger station
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E. 83rd St. to Kings Highway
Former Kowenhoven passenger station
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Kings Highway to Albany Ave.
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Albany Ave. to Bedford Ave.
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Bedford Ave. to Coney Island Ave.
Manhattan Beach Jct.
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Manhattan Beach Jct. enlarged 1917

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Manhattan Beach Jct. enlarged 1927
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Manhattan Beach Jct. 1906
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Coney Island Ave. to 50th St.
Parkville Station 1959

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Coney Island Ave. to 50th St.
Parkville Station 1905
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50th St. to 16th Ave.

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16th Ave. to Ft. Hamilton Pkwy.
Bath Jct.

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NU Tower area enlarged

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Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. to 5th Ave
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5th Ave. to 1st Ave.
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1st Ave. to Waterfront
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The 7th -8th Ave engine yard area 0 5/14/1932. (Future site of G&R Packing) Note the catenary bridge numbers on the print. 
This print was dated only 10 weeks before NU Tower would be closed forever. Info: Richard F. Makse

LIRR Tri-State Map - 12/1918 revised 08/1920

 

nyareamap1920info.jpg (56544 bytes) Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Railroad, P.T.&T.R.R. was an important part of the PRR  system, comprising the tunnels and approaches from NJ,  Long Island , into NY Penn Station.

The company was formed on June 26, 1907 as a consolidation of the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York Railroad and the Pennsylvania, New York and Long Island Railroad, which were the New Jersey and New York parts, respectively. The PNJ&NY was incorporated February 13, 1902, and the PNY&LI was incorporated April 21, 1902.

The New Jersey side was opened on November 27, 1910, though it hadn't been completed yet. The Long Island side was opened several weeks earlier. It was always operated by the PRR.

 

LIRR Bay Ridge Line Mileage 1929 and 1959

LIRR Employee timetable #110, effective 6/16/29: Mileage is from "DF" tower (later "POND")

DF tower (Interlocking & block station) 0.0 miles
FN tower (Interlocking & block station) 0.4 miles (Later "FREMONT" tower)
Emery-Map-Bay-Ridge-604.jpg (66391 bytes)  FN Interlocking 1918-1927 
NO tower (Interlocking & block station) 3.9 miles (cabin at New Lots Ave)
Emery-Map-Bay-Ridge-618.jpg (126371 bytes)  NO Cabin 1918-1925

Emery-Map-Bay-Ridge-621.jpg (128724 bytes)  NO Cabin 1925-1928  NO Tower 1928-1933 same location

MJ tower (Interlocking & block station) 7.5 miles (Manhattan Beach Jct: later "BEDFORD" tower)
NU tower (Interlocking & block station) 9.7 miles (cabin at New Utrecht Ave)
Bay Ridge 11.9 miles


LIRR Employee timetable #6, effective 6/21/59: Mileage is from FREMONT tower: (Later razed 7/00)

FREMONT (Interlocking tower and block station) 0.0 miles
New Lots Crossover 4.3 miles
NU (Block LImit Station) 8.8 miles
Bay Ridge 11.5 miles

The New Haven had trackage rights over the Bay Ridge Branch for through freight interchange to the PRR via Bay Ridge/Greenville. After the State of New York purchased the Long Island Rail Road from the PRR, the Bay Ridge Branch was not included but the LIRR continued to operate the line including the yard at Bay Ridge.

Soon after the Penn Central took over the New Haven (this occurred on Jan. 1, 1969), the Penn Central took over the remaining local business as well as the office at New Lots and the tower at Fremont. At that time, there were I believe three jobs established to handle the Bay Ridge Branch local work as well as the LIRR freight interchange.

This was soon reduced to two jobs, a day job went over with cars for the Bay Ridge Branch and did all of the siding work from Fremont to 8th Avenue, Bay Ridge. There was no work beyond that point at the time. The night job brought the interchange cars from Selkirk over the bridge for Fremont and brought the cars going off the LIRR back to Oak Point. Occasionally, this job would make two trips but it rarely if ever went past Fremont.  by Noel Weaver
 

East NY Industrial Park serviced by the Bay Ridge Line - 1966

 

Covering the area south of the East New York station, and proceeding to where the Bay Ridge branch hooks a sharp turn to the west at New Lots, going as far south (west) as the east side of Rockaway Ave. we have the following industries as listed on the LIRR’s official sidings maps of 1966: 

(In no special order) 

Brooklyn Terminal Market 
Western Woodworking 
Rosenberg & Son 
Simon Holland 
Picone Bros. 
Piel Bros. 
Brooklyn Tire 
Schoenberg Salt 
Lieberman & Koren   LIerberman-KormanScrap.jpg (70684 bytes) Photo: Doug Diamond 11-1999

Covering the same area from 1958 and earlier, back into the 1920s we have the following industries: 

(In no special order) 

Rubel Coal Co.(having moved from 2 prior locations in the same area) 
Lieberman-Koren Corp. (ex-T&A Coal, ex-Rubel Coal & Ice) 
Schoenberg Salt Co. 
Saltser & Weinsier Plumbing supply (ex-Simon Gasner & Son, ex-Simner Plumbing Co.) 
Thatford & Ackerman Coal 
Brooklyn Ash Removal Co. 
Piel Bros. 
Security Coal Co. 
Holland Steel Co. 
Borough Scrap Iron 
Burns Bros. Coal 
Western Woodworking 
Silver Lumber Co. 
Klein Metal 

Brooklyn Ash Removal Co.

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East New York: 5th Ave, Bay Ridge and Blake & Junius

barctrackbr.gif (29956 bytes)Bay Ridge: Between Sixth and Seventh Avenues (left diagram highlighted in red)

Maps above by Phil Goldstein visit his  Brooklyn Ash Removal Company site for greater detail.

Brooklyn Ash Removal Co. had a huge dump site in Flushing Meadows on the grounds of what would later become the 1939-40 NY World’s Fair. I’m sure they had LIRR access via a siding or two off the Port Washington branch, as they Ash had their own ash rails cars with their own markings. C.R.4 effective 9/1/1919, superseded the previous C.R. 4 effective 3/1/1913:

Car Markings: Bklyn Ash Removal Co. = B.A.R.Co.

Station/Siding  ID #, Branch or "Division",  Location,  Miles from L I City,  Handled by agent at: (F.B. Ave. for Atl. Br)

A Atlantic F.B.Ave. 0.32 miles (FBA) Flatbush Ave.
A 5 1/2 " Atkins Ave. 5.35 miles (FBA) East New York

B14 Bay Ridge Parkville 13.87 miles (LIC) Parkville
B16 " Bay Ridge 15.32 miles (LIC) Parkville

BU6 Bushwick Bushwick 5.94 miles (LIC) Bushwick

E7 Evergreen Evergreen 6.91 miles (LIC) Evergreen

M7 1/2 Bay Ridge East New York 7.60 miles (LIC) East New York
M11 Bay Ridge Vanderveer Pk 11.15 miles (LIC) Vanderveer Park 

M13 Manhattan Bch. S. Greenfield 13.11 miles (LIC) Parkville

N7 North Side Corona 6.29 miles (LIC) Corona
6.43 miles (LIC) Corona
6.61 miles (LIC) Corona

N7 along the North Side Division (later the Port Washington branch) had 3 sidings at Corona, because this was the location of the main dump at Flushing Meadows (not a station stop at the time). The Corona station was 5.50 miles from LIC so the first siding was .79 miles further east of the station, but not sufficiently east enough to be considered Flushing. I would assume the other sidings were "pick-up" points.

Also . . . a bit of trivia . . .the station / siding names of A 5 1/2 for example meant "A" = the Atlantic Branch and 5 1/2 = approximately 5 1/2 miles from the western terminal . .. either Flatbush Ave. or L. I. City. You'll see that A 5 1/2 was, in actuality, not 5 1/2 miles from FBA but 5.35 . . . .but close enough for record-keeping. 
Compiled and provided by: Dave Keller

Industries located in Bay Ridge

rbegrpackingschematic.jpg (113580 bytes)  G & R Packing
   (7th-8th Ave) was two - three blocks
   east of  Bay Ridge Yard (1st - 5th Aves) 
   Map/Research: Phil Goldstein

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                    05/26/74 Photo: Richard F. Makse

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PC SW1500 coming up the hill from 6th Ave c.1973

Penn Central Engines and the Porter that replaced the Critter.  They  taken with an instamtic.  I grew up in that area and walked the tracks there plenty of times.  The Porter never ventured outside the company as it just shuttled cars back and forth and set them out on an empty track. The three top photos are 1970. Info/photos: Ben Fioriello
65th STREET - BAY RIDGE, BROOKLYN, NY - 1970-1999

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Each apron has two tracks leading from it into two yards with several ladder tracks in each yard. This is so that cars can be unloaded from the three track car floats, trains made up from them and dispatched while other trains arrive bringing new cars to be loaded onto the car floats for dispatch to New Jersey. This arrangement supported 1,000 cars a day during the period 1920 thru 1950 with lower numbers of cars after 1950.

So how is a loaded car float unloaded and then reloaded? The following sequence of events occurrs. First of all, the car float is secured to the apron so that the tracks on the car float line up with those on the apron. Now if you're working with a three track car float only two outer tracks are connected to the tracks on the apron. The center track and the left track converge in a turnout, on the float, of which only the points are on the apron. So nothing can be removed from the center track until the points are clear.

Now a switcher on the left lead track usually using a flatcar or gondola or two as an idler to reach onto the car float across the apron and couples with the string of cars on the left track of the car float. This string is pulled halfway off the car float. That means if there are 6 cars in that string 3 are off the car float while the other 3 are still on it. The switcher then uncouples from these cars after their brakes are set. The switcher then goes onto the right track via a crossover and pushes the idler car onto the car float's right track and couples with cars on that track. 

These cars are now pulled off the car float and into the yard to clear a switch that allows that string of cars to be run back and coupled to the six car string of cars that was pulled half way off the float in the first operation. These cars are now pulled to clear the switch to the center track. Now with a string of (12) cars, they are coupled to the center track and (17) cars are pulled into the yard. All this is subject to change if the consist of the freight coming in is all heavy cars (100 ton) or more, long drawbar cars that wont couple up on the turnout to the center track. The idea is to get (1) intact string of cars into (1) track with the engine on the east end so it can couple up to the string that is going to be loaded.

I have pulled and loaded a float with only (1) other man, the yardmaster, after he mistakenly sent the crews home.

To load the car float one reverses the process with the center track loaded first.

My thanks to: Irvin Feldman and LIRR Engineer: Ed Schleyer

Circa 1970-1971, when the yard was abandoned, the four LI City style float bridges were torn down. The yard was abandoned for some time, with PC only playing host to interchange with the Bush Terminal RR/New York Dock Railway. In 1979 or 1981 (haven't got the exact year yet), New York Dock Railway installed a pontoon supported pony plate girder float bridge that original came from the Erie Railroad's  West 28th Street yard in Manhattan. This float bridge was installed at the northwestern tip of the 65th Street yard and was referred to as the BAT (Brooklyn Army Terminal) float bridge.

This float bridge installation was due to the reconstruction of First Avenue which isolated the 65th Street from the float bridges at Bush Terminal Yard. This float bridge was utilized until about 1990 or so, when it was no longer needed and abandoned in place.  It has since pulled away from it's bulkhead anchors, and sits partially submerged a few feet off the bulkhead, where it can still be seen there today.

Long Island RR purchased the Bay Ridge Branch back from Conrail in 1984, and started interchange with the New York Cross Harbor Railroad (NYCHRR), the successor to New York Dock. This is when the infamous "Intermodal Bogie" experiment took place.  

In 1999, the NYCEDC (New York City Economic Development Corp.) completely rebuilt the 65th Street railyard, with new track, ties, etc. This rebuild also included a pair of brand new cable suspension type float bridges. This was all due to NYCHRR planning on moving their base of operations out of the Bush Terminal Yard, as it was getting too old, and track was too light with restrictive turnouts (80-90lb rail and #4 turnouts).

The proposed relocation never came to fruition, and the two float bridges still sit idle, never used!

In 2006, the New York Cross Harbor would become a "fallen flag" and the new company operating the railroad would be New York New Jersey Rail. Today the yard is used strictly for storage and is the location of the interchange point NYNJ Rail and New York & Atlantic Railway (NYA),  which is the freight subsidiary of the Long Island Railroad) 

Just this past year and a half, NYA has done an EXTENSIVE track rehab program for the Bay Ridge Branch.  

Furthermore, there is now a repeated rumor circulating that the NYNJ is relocating their Bush Terminal base of operations to the 65th Street Yard (as NYCH had planned to in years prior) and an agreement to carfloat freight for NYA is being worked on. Research/Photo Collection: Phil Goldstein 07/2009

 

65th STREET - BAY RIDGE, BROOKLYN, NY
the terminus of the current NYA Brooklyn freight operations

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Brooklyn Army Terminal 1926
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Brooklyn Army Terminal c. 1980-1990
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LIRR #444  Alco S2 with float reacher car 
Photo: Phil Goldstein 1968

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Bay Ridge 1959 Robert Emery Map

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LIRR Fireman at the throttle: Ed Schleyer, down by the Bay Ridge floats, LIRR Alco  S2 #446 works the float reach car. View NE.  

The overhead electric catenary system, installed in 1926, came out in 1952-53 when the LIRR got rid of the DD1 and B3 electric locomotives.

Gowanus Parkway Bridge (built 1941) crossing on a diagonal above the 2nd Avenue bridge (built 1912) crossing perpendicular (almost) above the Bay Ridge rail yard. Research: Dave Keller

Note the railings on the flat car are the same as those on LIRR  W80


  65th St. Yard Bay Ridge c. 1998


Bay Ridge Topographic


Derail to prevent "rollouts"


Double crossover, just before the aprons
 


LIRR Tug Meitowax
working the harbor
 
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LIRR #452, Reacher flatcar
Archive: Henry Wagner

View looking west c. 06-97 Photo: B. Ente


Switch leads into the Brooklyn Army Terminal Photo: B. Ente



 



The new car aprons Photo: B. Ente


Down to inspect the new car floats


Fresh wood, paint and ready for freight


NY City's World Trade Towers
dominate this hot, hazy harbor view 07/2000
Photo: Steven Lynch

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View looking west 
Photo: Paul Strubeck 2006
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View looking southwest Photo: Paul Strubeck 2006

Bay Ridge, NY 1966
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NYCHRR 65th St. Facility c.2000
Source: Property Assessments & Feasibility Studies & Port Terminal Facility issued by the New York Cross Harbor Railroad Archive: Phil Goldstein