THE BAY RIDGE BRANCH


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The very first part of the Bay Ridge branch was opened by the New York, Bay Ridge, and Jamaica Railroad in 1876. It went from Bay Ridge to the Brooklyn, Bath, and Coney Island Railroad crossing near New Utrecht. An extension from New Utrecht east and northeast to New Lots opened in 1877. At the same time, the New York and Manhattan Beach Railway opened the line from New Lots north to East New York and then an extension further north to Cooper Ave and then northwest to Greenpoint in 1878. The other fork was built from Cooper Ave north to the Montauk branch at Glendale in 1883. The Long Island City & Manhattan Beach Railroad merged with the New York & Manhattan Beach Railroad and New York, Bay Ridge & Jamaica and became the New York, Brooklyn, and Manhattan Beach Railway on 8/27/1885. (Below you'll see a map of the Bay Ridge Branch highlighted in white.)


The Bay Ridge branch, Brooklyn 1876



In 1914, a grade elimination program placed the Bay Ridge line underground as an open cut in Brooklyn and elevated mostly in Queens. This was because the population in Brooklyn and Queens was expanding and soon traffic from vehicles would take over the avenues. But passenger service ended on this branch in 1924. The entire line was electrified 7/8/1927 for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad freight trains coming from the New York connecting railroad of the Hell Gate Bridge. Electric operation ended 12/31/1968. Today, the Bay Ridge branch is owned by the LIRR and operated by the New York and Atlantic Railway since 1997. It is the longest freight only line of the LIRR connecting the Montauk Branch with Bay Ridge and also the connecting railroad north.



A proposed Cross Harbor Rail tunnel would connect New Jersey with Brooklyn to reach the rest of Long Island with the line double tracked. Another proposal would have the New York City subway use the tracks connecting Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and possibly Staten Island creating a loop around existing subway and elevated lines. A study in 1996 was conducted to determine the possibility of the rail link, but was denounced as disastrous by some. However, the idea was revived in 2012. The minor obstacles would be simply upgrading signals, electrification, double tracking where needed, and to determine a northern terminal - either Hunters Point or Yankee Stadium. Most everything else is built already since 1914. Even though it bypasses Manhattan altogether, it connects to other lines that go to Manhattan. It would be amazing for the rest of the boros and can someday be the new X train for the subway system.


The Bay Ridge Branch, Brooklyn 1924


The Bay Ridge Branch (X train)

LONG ISLAND CITY Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 6/2/1883 steam locomotives served this railroad LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division Long Island City replaced Greenpoint service 1885 - 1924 LIC still connected with LIRR today
PENNY BRIDGE Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 1883 steam locomotives served this railroad LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division elevated tracks in 1906 closed 1924
LAUREL HILL Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 1890 steam locomotives served this railroad this station was added in 1890 closed 8/29/1905 -
HABERMAN Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 1906 steam locomotives served this railroad this station was added in 1906 elevated tracks in 1906 closed 1924
MASPETH (58th Ave and Creek Drive) Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 2/1895 steam locomotives served this railroad this station was added in 1895 elevated tracks in 1906 closed 1925
FRESH POND YARDS (Bushwick Junction) Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 6/1869 steam locomotives served this railroad LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division, closed 1894 serves as Fresh Pond Yards for today's freight services an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train, after this junction it continues along the connecting railroad linking the New Haven Railroad over the Hell Gate bridge since 4/1/1917
MYRTLE AVE Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 5/16/1878 steam locomotives served this railroad, elevated tracks in 1906 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division, station closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
RIDGEWOOD (Cypress Ave) Bay Ridge branch (Queens) surface route opened 6/2/1883, renamed Ridgewood 1884 steam locomotives served this railroad LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division, line elevated in 1914, station closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
COOPER AVE JUNCTION Bay Ridge branch (Queens) Greenpoint branch opened as surface steam railroad 1876 also Bay Ridge branch to Long Island City opened 5/16/1878 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division this was a transfer point for these divisions closed 1894
BUSHWICK AVE (Central Ave) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 7/18/1877 steam locomotives served this railroad LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division closed 1897 -
FULTON STREET Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 1914 steam locomotives served this railroad this station was added in 1914 closed 5/14/1924 future (X)
EAST NEW YORK (southwest corner of Van Sinderen Ave and Fulton st) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 7/18/1877 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division steam locomotives served this railroad, surface route dismantled to make way for current open cut similar to Sea Beach N and Brighton Q lines in 1914, station closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
NEW LOTS ROAD Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 7/18/1877 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division steam locomotives served this railroad closed 1897 -
FORD'S CORNERS (Rugby - between E 92 st and Remsen Ave) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 1888 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division steam locomotives served this railroad, elevated tracks in 1906, station closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
KOUWENHOVEN - (E53st between Forster & Farragut Roads) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 7/18/1877 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division steam locomotives served this railroad, elevated tracks in 1906, station closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
FLATLANDS - VANDERVEER PARK (east of Nostrand Ave) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 1878, renamed Vanderveer Park 1899 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division steam locomotives served this railroad, elevated tracks in 1906, station closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
KINGS COUNTY CENTRAL JUNCTION (New York Ave) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) Greenpoint branch opened as surface steam railroad 1876 surface route for Bay Ridge and Kings County Central branches also opened 6/29/1878 as steam railroads this was a transfer point for these divisions - station closed 1/1879
MANHATTAN BEACH JUNCTION (west side of Ocean Ave) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened with steam locomotives 7/1877 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division surface route dismantled to make way for current open cut similar to Sea Beach N and Brighton lines Q in 1914, closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
PARKVILLE Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened with steam locomotives 7/1877 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division surface route dismantled to make way for current open cut similar to Sea Beach N and Brighton Q lines in 1914, station closed 5/14/1924 an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train future (X)
BATH JUNCTION (Brooklyn, Bath, and Coney Island crossing) Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 8/19/1876 as a steam railroad LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division closed 1897 - -
THIRD AVE Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 8/19/1876 as a steam railroad, closed 1879 reopened and closed 1880 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division newer station built 1885 and connected with Culver tracks until 1887 station closed 5/14/1924
BAY RIDGE - 65th STREET Bay Ridge branch (Brooklyn) surface route opened 8/19/1876 as a steam railroad called NY, Bay Ridge, and Jamaica Railroad became NY and Manhattan Beach Railway 7/19/1877 LIRR took over Bay Ridge route 6/2/1883 and ran trains as part of the Manhattan Beach Division station closed 5/14/1924 for passenger service but has been a train yard since an abandoned LIRR branch considered for becoming a new subway line called the X train


OTHER BRANCHES OF THE MANHATTAN BEACH DIVISION

BAYRIDGE BRANCH:
GREENPOINT (Evergreen) BRANCH:
KINGS COUNTY CENTRAL:
MARINE RAILWAY:
CULVER BRANCH:
MANHATTAN BEACH BRANCH:

TRANSFER HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THESE BMT LINES

THE SEA BEACH LINE (BMT #4)
CULVER - FIFTH AVE EL (BMT #5b)
THE BRIGHTON - SECOND AVE SUBWAY
THE WEST END - FIFTH AVE EL
FOURTH AVE SUBWAY ASTORIA (BMT #2)
FRANKLYN SHUTTLE (BMT #7)
THE JAMAICA EL - (BMT #15)
MYRTLE-CHAMBERS - WEST END (BMT #10)
JAMAICA EL SKIP STOP SERVICE
THE CANARSIE LINE (BMT #16)
THE FULTON ST EL - (BMT #13)
ASTORIA EL - BROADWAY SUBWAY
THE CONEY ISLAND ELEVATED
ASTORIA EL SHUTTLE (BMT #8)
FLUSHING EL SHUTTLE (BMT #9)
14TH - FULTON ST EL (BMT #17)
THE M BANKERS SPECIAL (brighton)
BROOKLYN SHORTLINE (BMT #14)
THE M BANKERS SPECIAL (fourth ave)
LEXINGTON AVE EL (BMT #12)
FIFTH AVENUE EL - (BMT #6)
BROADWAY - WEST END LINE (BMT #3a)
CULVER - NASSAU EXPRESS - (BMT #5a)
WEST END-NASSAU EXPRESS (BMT #3b)
SUNNY SUMMER SUNDAY SPECIAL
MYRTLE-CHAMBERS / BRIGHTON BEACH
BRIGHTON LINE VIA TUNNEL (BMT #1a)
THE MYRTLE AVE EL - (BMT #11)
SEA BEACH - BRIGHTON EXPRESS
MYRTLE-CHAMBERS / FOURTH AVE

BOYNTON BICYCLE RAILROAD
THE BAY RIDGE BRANCH (X train)
BEACH PNEUMATIC TRANSIT

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SUBWAY TRIVIA: THE LIRR IN RELATION TO BROOKLYN ELS:
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