A newly installed
New York and Atlantic Railway sign at the entrance of Fresh Pond Yard in
Queens New York.
Why A Virtual Tour of the LIRR/NYA Bushwick Branch?
The Bushwick Branch is a little-used freight line that runs from Fresh Pond Yard in Queens to Bushwick Terminal in Brooklyn. Although the branch is looking pretty shoddy today, the branch could be a key link in New York City's freight railroad infrastructure. In the future, there may be hope for the Bushwick Branch. The New York and Atlantic Railway (NYA) has a contract with the Long Island Railroad that enables the railway to lease the Long Island Railroad's tracks for revitalizing and provide freight train service in New York City and Long Island. The Bushwick Branch, as part of the Longs Island Railroad's extensive track network, is also being leased to the NYA for freight service. There are hopes that freight trains may once again be a major factor in delivering goods to New York City and Long Island industry. Newly proposed projects, such as the Cross-Harbor rail tunnel which one day may connect New Jersey to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn will revitalize the use of freight trains, and may help to divert thousands of trucks off of the areas highways as some business ship by rail. Depending on how successful this project is, the Bushwick Branch, like the Bay Ridge Branch, may be upgraded to provide rail freight service to local industry.
Of course, since these grand projects require a lot of money, planning, and will have to wade through a lot of politics before they ever see the light of day, we are left to look at what infrastructure currently exists. The Bushwick Branch is not a pretty line, not by any stretch of the imagination! Along the tour, we will see abandoned sidings, burnt-out cars, old factories, beat-up grade-crossings, and a host of other remnants along this freight line's right-of-way.
Let's begin the tour....
map of the route of the Long Island Railroad Bushwick Branch right-of-way.
Map provided by Harry Hassler; original map creator unknown.
Within the confines of Fresh Pond Yard, a freshly painted car is parked on one of the yard's lay-up tracks. This car is a former Long Island Rail Road passenger car which has now been converted in to a work car.
Two NYA diesels are parked in the yard.
Towards the western end of the yard, a spur connects the Bay Ridge Branch to the Fresh Pond Yard tracks. Eastbound trains from the Long Island Railroad's Montauk Branch can utilize this track to connect to the Bay Ridge Branch.
This railroad bridge carries the Bay Ridge Branch and the New York Connecting Railroad line over Long Island Railroad's Montauk Branch and the western edge of Fresh Pond Yard. The Montauk Branch are the tracks are the positioned to the right of the picture, and the spur track to the Bay Ridge Branch is the single track curved track located to the left of the picture. Freight cars are parked on the trestle.
-->> Click Here to Continue to Explore the Bushwick Branch!
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