tour begins at the Hell Gate Bridge, the premier bridge along the New York
Connecting Railroad’s ROW. The bridge was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad
between the years 1912 and 1917. That main function of the bridge is to
provide main line access from New York City to New England.
Some bridge facts:
The Triborough Bridge, which services motor vehicle traffic, stands in the background.
- The bridge contains 20,000 tons of steel
- In 1917, the arch was the longest steel arch in the world
- The arch is 1,107 feet in length
- Ceremonies for opening day of the Hell Gate bridge occurred on April 1, 1917
- Trains started using the bridge on April 3rd, 1917.
Many of the facts found within the New York Connecting Railroad and the Hell Gate Bridge section of www.oldnyc.com were culled from the article "Constructing the New York Connecting: Last Act of an Ambitious Plan" by William G. Thom. The article appeared in the winter 1997 edition of "The Keystone".
For more engineering and historical information about
the Hell Gate bridge, check out Steve Anderson's nycroads.com
A map of the route of the New York Connecting Railroad and Long Island Railroad Bay Ridge Branch right-of-way. Clicking on the picture will open up another browser window, which will display a larger image of the map. The red markings indicates the right-of-way of the Bay Ridge Branch, the purple markings indicates the right-of-way of the New York Connecting Railroad line.
Map provided by Harry Hassler; original map creator unknown.
Oldnyc.com contributor Wallace P. Heller shares with us this interesting picture of the Hell Gate Bridge. Wallace writes: "Here is a photo that I took on a cloudy day of the Hell Gate Bridge. The photo was taken some time between 1946 and 1949".
The gothic towers at each end of the bridge stand 220 feet above the ground. The tower portals are 24 feet high!
The Hell Gate bridge is but one of the bridges that consist of the East River Bridge Division (ERBD). The ERDB was responsible for building most of the bridges and viaducts along the New York Connecting Railroad route. In this picture, we see the "Randall’s Island Viaduct", a long viaduct that extends from the Hell Gate Bridge to the lift bridge over Bronx Kills. The "Long Island Viaduct" is on the Queens-side of the Hell Gate Bridge.
This is the Queens tower of the Hell Gate Bridge. Notice the attention to detail that the architects paid to this beautiful structure. Engineer Gustav Lindenthal believed that quality architecture played an important role in the overall appearance of a train bridge.
The picture does not fully capture the radiant beauty
of this tower. It is truly a work of art.
-->> Click Here to continue to explore Hell Gate!
<<-- Click Here to go Back to Home