Wednesday, May 29, 2013
#308 45th Avenue Overpass over The New York Connecting Railroad
45th Avenue Overpass over The New York Connecting Railroad
Rob Hickman, Keith Nelson, May 29, 2013
View on Unicycle NYC Bridge Tour Map at: unibridgetour.net
Started: May 29, 2013, 11:36:36 AM
Ride Time: 56:35
Distance: 2.75 miles
The New York Connecting Railroad (reporting mark NYCN) or NYCR is a rail line in the borough of Queens in New York City. It links New York City and Long Island by rail directly to the North American mainland. Amtrak, CSX, Canadian Pacific Railway, Providence and Worcester Railroad and New York and Atlantic Railway currently use the line. It runs from the Hell Gate Bridge over the East River to Fresh Pond Junction yard in Glendale. It was completed in 1917. Amtrak uses the northernmost section of the line from Sunnyside Junction (Bowery Bay) in the Woodside section of Queens to the Hell Gate Bridge into the Bronx from which it follows the line north to Boston.
Amtrak owns the line north of Sunnyside Junction, which forms part of the Northeast Corridor. South of this point, CSX is the owner, with the line being the Fremont Secondary.
The line begins at the Hell Gate Bridge over the East River. This is a massive span, a main span of 1,017 feet (310 m) and a total length of over 17,000 feet (3.2 mi; 5.2 km). Continuing south the line is on a high-level elevated viaduct, over Astoria and Interstate 278 (Grand Central Parkway). The line then is on an embankment and Sunnyside Junction, where Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line branches off, is here. The line heads south and parallels Interstate 278 (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) for a distance. This portion of the line was completely rebuilt in 2002. Now in the section of Elmhurst, the NYCR passes under several streets in a cut. An arched concrete viaduct over Queens Boulevard is followed by cuts and overpasses over streets in Maspeth, Queens. After crossing under the Long Island Expressway (Interstate 495) and passing a few cemeteries, the line reaches Fresh Pond Junction. This is the main facility for shipping freight by rail in and out of New York City and Long Island. New York and Atlantic Railway's main offices are here. CSX and CP also interchange freight with New York & Atlantic Railway here.
South of Fresh Pond Junction, the line continues south as Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) Bay Ridge Branch to the 65th Street Yard.
The line is 3 tracks north of Sunnyside Junction and 1 track south of this point (with 2-track sections in some areas).
CSX and Canadian Pacific serve the line with 1-2 daily round trips, the latter using the Oak Point Link. Providence and Worcester runs service in the summer.
The New York Connecting Railroad was incorporated in 1892, opening in 1917 as a connection between the New Haven's Harlem River and Port Chester Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad's Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Railroad to Penn Station and the tunnels under the Hudson River. It was owned half-and-half by the New Haven and Pennsylvania.
The line was dedicated on March 9, 1917 by Samuel Rea and Gustav Lindenthal. A special train took the directors of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad over the line on March 25, 1917, and at that time it was turned over to the New Haven for operation, though the Southern Division (freight-only) was not completed yet. Passenger service began on April 1 of 1917, with the return of the Federal Express and the rerouting of two local trains. The Colonial began using it April 30, resulting in the first accident on the NYCR on August 20, 1917. Through freights to Bay Ridge began January 17, 1918, and the final work was completed August 7, 1918.
Forgotten NY Article on The New York Connecting Railroad