The Bay Ridge Branch

 

The current Bay Ridge branch of the LIRR (now used for freight traffic only) was built in 1876-1877 and was originally a part of the NY & Manhattan Beach Railway system, which also included the Greenpoint ("Evergreen"), Manhattan Beach and Kings County Central Divisions.

Stations - along the current Bay Ridge ROW from the East River to Manhattan Beach Junction.

Bay Ridge - 65th St. at the East River - Opened 1876. 1904 was the last year of passenger service. (thanks to "Big John - fan of the Sunrise Trail" for the pictures of this ticket and the others below)

 

 

Third Ave. - Opened July, 1877 - Closed 1879, reopened and reclosed in 1880. New station built by the LIRR in 1885 for service in 1885-7 over the Culver line to Coney Island.

Brooklyn Bath and Coney Is. RR Crossing - Opened July, 1877 - Last service in 1897.

Parkville - Opened July, 1877 - at Gravesend Ave.

 

Stations - from Manhattan Beach Junction to Fresh Pond (and on to LIC).

Manhattan Beach Junction - Opened July, 1877 - On the west side of Ocean Ave. and south side of the tracks. Closed 1924

Kings County Central Junction - 1878 only - at New York Ave.

Flatlands - Changed to Vanderveer Park in 1899 - Just east of Nostrand Ave. The ROW was elevated in 1906 and the station lasted until 1924. Here's a picture of Vanderveer station in 1906.

 

 

Kouwenhoven - Opened July, 1877 - On E. 53rd St. between Foster and Farragut roads. Closed 1924. Click here for a picture of this station in 1906 (from the collection of Ron Ziel)

 

 

Rugby (Ford's Corners) - Opened 1888 - Between E. 92nd St. and Remsen Ave. Closed 1924.

New Lots Rd. - Opened July 1877 - Closed 1897.

East New York - Opened July 1877 - SW corner of Van Sinderen Ave. Ave. and Fulton St. Station rebuilt when the line was sunk underground in this area in 1915. This high level platform still exists (see below for a picture) as the line enters the East NY tunnel going north. Here's a picture of the station from 1924, just prior to the ending of passenger service.

Bushwick Ave. - Opened 1884 - Abandoned 1915

Central Ave. - Opened 6/2/1883 - Abandoned when the above station was built.

Ridgewood (Cypress ave) - Opened 6/2/1883 as "Dummy Crossing" for the line operating on Cypress Ave. - Name changed to Ridgewood in 1884, and to Cypress Ave. in 1891 (so as not to be confused with the Ridgewood station on the Greenpoint ("Evergreen")) branch. Here's a picture from 1914, just after the line was elevated in this area. All the current trestles in the area (over Myrtle, Forest, Seneca, Cypress and Wyckoff Aves. bear dates of 1912-1914)

Myrtle Ave. - Opened 1893 - Closed 1924

Bushwick Junction (Fresh Pond) - Originally the Fresh Pond station of the old (at that time) South Side RR.

Maspeth - Opened 1885 - at 58th Ave. and Creek Dr. Closed 1924

Haberman - Opened 1910 - Closed 1924

Penny Bridge - Another South Side station - Opened 1883, closed 1924

Long Island City - Opened 6/2/1883, when the Manhattan Beach RY opened the replacement for Greenpoint service.

Here are a couple of pictures of the Bay Ridge line taken in February, 1999 by Doug Diamond. The first is looking west toward Utica Ave.; the second is looking north from the shared LIRR/BMT right-of-way embankment near New Lots Ave. Note remnant of old switch to the Canarsie "L" line (train is passing at right). In the distance is the NYCT "Y" bridge that connects both the IRT & BMT divisions and leads down into the Linden Shops (on the extreme left)

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Here's another picture, also taken by Doug Diamond in November, 1999.

A loaded gondola underneath loading conveyor at Lieberman-Koren Scrap Metal (between Pitkin and Belmont Aves).

 

This picture was taken on Doug's Bay Ridge Walking Tour. A tour member stands on the Mainline track at approximately the location of the old Kouvenhoven Station. The track branching off at left is a "run-around," allowing thru freight to pass gondolas at a railroad scale (scene in the distance). The track will again join the mainline about 1/2 mile east.

Finally, this great picture taken from the still-existing platform of the East New York station, also taken by Doug Diamond.

The ENY tunnel as seen from the platform from inside looking south
(Nov. 99). There was little graffiti found in the tunnel and the platform was
fairly clean. However, quite a bit of personal refuse was found on the former roadbed.

 

Follow this link to Paul Matus' rapidtransit.net for some great pictures of the Bay Ridge Branch before and after the grade elimination of the 1910's. The pictures were provided by Bob Diamond, who is head of the Brooklyn Trolley Museum.

In addition, Tom Scannello has many pictures of the Bay Ridge branch in his OLDNYC.COM website

more to come...

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