Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by Mr rt
The Brooklyn 38th Street connection to the MTA recently has only been a storage yard. They haven't brought anything in via float for years.
The Bronx connection to the outside world & the float ramp there have been active. The float is where all the RedBirds left for the swim.
The LIRR Bayridge line had two connections to the MTA, Linden/Livonia Ave(#3 line), and Canarsie(L line) the latter was cut many years ago.
  by R36 Combine Coach
The last time anything was delivered in at 38 Street from Bush Terminal would be the R68s in 1986-88. In the early 90s and as late as 2003, some scrap cars were floated over to Jersey City en route to Naporano.
  by railfan365
Does anyone know why the connection to the Canarsie line was cut? it would seem that the more flexibility, the better.
  by NellieBly
One of the more interesting movements from NYCTA to the national railroad network occurred when we sent the TG01 track geometry car to test the Staten Island Railroad. The car was kept at East New York, in the inspection barn there. It's diesel powered, so doesn't need third rail. The car ran down to Linden Shop on the Canarsie Line, then onto the Bay Ridge Branch, up to Fresh Pond Junction, over to Jamaica, then in to Penn Station on the Montauk Branch, on to Amtrak, and down the NEC to "Hunter". The car then diverged onto the LV and then the former CNJ to "XC". changed ends, and headed over to the "AK" drawbridge and onto Staten Island. At the time, the North Shore line was still (barely) intact. They ended up having someone walk ahead of the car through the grass to make sure the rail was still there. But the car did get all the way to St. George, tested SIRR, then made its way back to East New York. Each one-way trip took more than 12 hours, as I recall.
  by Passenger
I'm picturing them checking the track geometry on the North Shore on the way just for laughs. ;)
  by NellieBly
The TG01 tested the SIRR in 1986, as I recall. Drawbridge AK was still in service, but nothing much went east of Port Ivory, although the tracks were intact. AK went out of service a few years later, but the Port Authority bought the track from CSX in the mid-1990s. AK was restored to service in, I think, 2005, and track was improved over to Howland Hook container terminal and into Port Ivory, where plans were to build a trash transfer facility (I don't know if this is still planned). But AFAIK, the track east of Port Ivory to St. George is out of service and no longer passable.

I had an inspector make a walking survey of the ROW in 1996 when I was estimating its value for CSX as part of the sale process, and the track was gone then (although a couple of concrete high platforms from former commuter rail stations were still intact, complete with stairways).
  by R36 Combine Coach
AK Draw was taken out of service in 1991 and reopened in 2006. In the late 1980s NYSW operated the SIR freight under contract.
  by NellieBly
This is off the subject of subway connections to the national rail network, but there's an interesting story there. The Con Ed Travis Plant on Staten Island was given a permit to test-burn coal (it's a dual-fuel plant, burning either coal or fuel oil) in the early 1980s. NYSW was eager to grab the contract to serve the Travis Branch because of the expected coal moves. They did move several unit trains of coal to the plant, but then Mario Cuomo was elected and yanked the permit. I drove up and down the West Shore Expressway several times a year in those days, and I watched as Con Ed brought in front-end loaders to put the coal back in coal cars, which were then hauled away. Must have cost a fortune, and of course Con Ed's ratepayers paid the price. But you know, we must keep New York's air in the same pristine condition it is now, no matter the price.

So without the Travis Plant, NYSW had little business on Staten Island (Howland Hook did not then have rail access), so they abandoned service. The track deteriorated, AK went out of service, and the rest is history, but now rail service is back. There has been talk of reviving North Shore commuter service, but I'm not sure it will happen. At this point, there is rail service to Howland Hook container terminal and to a proposed trash transfer at Port Ivory. Con Ed pays to maintain the Travis Branch in case they have to move heavy equipment to the power plant, but I don't think there's really any chance of burning coal there again.
  by Sir Ray
NellieBly wrote:At this point, there is rail service to Howland Hook container terminal and to a proposed trash transfer at Port Ivory. Con Ed pays to maintain the Travis Branch in case they have to move heavy equipment to the power plant, but I don't think there's really any chance of burning coal there again.
Not sure if you have it right about the Travis Branch. It is generating quite a lot of traffic as a NYC Dept of Sanitation Rail Transfer Station, and that facility is end-of-track, South of Con-Ed's Arthur Kill plant. If anything, the remains of Port Ivory are being sub-sumed by the Howland Hook container port expansion...
  by railfan365
A brief resumption of this topic: I ask: Since the 207th Street Yard is quite a substantial facility, but needs to have cars trucked in and out due to not being directly connected to the national network, has anyone done a cost/benefit analysis of running a bridge across the Bronx River so that CSX could deliver and pick up equipment there?
  by merrick1
I don't think railroads are interested in handling oddball freight. I remember seeing R62A cars on flat cars on Conrail. There were "do not hump" placards on the cars. They were usually right in back of the engines in the hope that the crew could keep an eye on them and they wouldn't arrive with graffiti or other vandalism.

It's also a bother to deal with a railroad for anything unusual. A friend of mine who managed a chemical plant gave up trying to deal with railroads for shipments of things like pressure vessels. It was too much trouble. It's much easier to call a company like Silk Road and let them take care of everything.
  by Backshophoss
Believe the last rail delivery to NYCTA,was to the South Brooklyn Trackage off NYNJ/NY&A was built new diesel switchers
for the TA,rolled off of flatcars to SBK tracks.
Unknown if that "backdoor" connection still exisits for carbody hulks to Reefs "recycling" project
  by rr503
It does. D line connects to 38th street yard which connects to SBk which connects to NYNJ. As stated, nada since the work engines...
The other connection (as mentioned before) is at linden yard at the intersection of the 3 and L lines. It connects to the bay ridge branch.
As for 207th st yard, there was a floatbridge there up until the 60s that was used to deliver new equipment to the IND (remember, the system originally didn't connect to the BMT, so they couldn't bring stuff in that way), but it was abandoned for obvious reasons.