The Bay Ridge Branch is a rail line owned by the Long Island Rail Road and operated by the New York and Atlantic Railway in the U.S. state of New York. 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 with the Upper New York Bay at Bay Ridge, where the New York Cross Harbor Railroad (now New York New Jersey Rail, LLC) operates rail-float barges to Conrail's Greenville Yard at Greenville, New Jersey. A Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel is proposed to replace this service.
Triple track, sharing an open cut in Brooklyn with BMT Sea Beach Line (left)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. Crossing Ralph AvenueThe freight-only Bay Ridge Branch runs through Brooklyn.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
From the Third Regional Plan's Regional Rx proposal: A new transit line, the Triboro RX, running essentially perpendicular to the existing radial subway lines, would attract many outer borough transit riders, and by crossing existing lines would provide countless new intra- and inter-borough options. Twenty-three subway lines would be intersected at least once, with six others intersecting twice. Fortunately, most of the right-of-way is already available, in the form of the LIRR Bay Ridge freight line in Brooklyn (mostly 4-tracks wide)...