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Staten Island Railway

Staten Island Railway
SIR train at Great Kills station
Type Rapid transit
Status Operational
Locale Staten Island, New York City
Termini Tottenville (south)
St. George (north)
Stations 22 (current)
21 (by April 2016)[1]
Services 1
Website /sir.infomta
Opened February 1, 1860
Owner Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Operator(s) Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority (SIRTOA), a division of the NYCTA
Rolling stock 62 modified R44 cars
Line length 14 mi (22.5 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Minimum radius (?)
Electrification 600 V DC Third rail
Route map

Note: Ballpark station no longer served.

The Staten Island Railway (SIR) is the only rapid transit line in the New York City borough of Staten Island. Operated by the Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority (SIRTOA), a unit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, it is considered a standard railroad line, but only freight service which runs along the western portion of the North Shore Branch is connected to the national railway system.

SIR operates with modified R44 New York City Subway cars,[2] and is run by the New York City Transit Authority, an agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and operator of the New York City Subway. However, there is no direct rail link between the SIR and the subway system proper. SIR riders do get a free transfer to New York City Subway lines, and the line is included on official New York City Subway maps.[3] Commuters who use the railway typically use the Staten Island Ferry to reach Manhattan; the line is accessible from within the Ferry Terminal and most of its trains connect with the ferry.

The Staten Island Railway provides full-time local service between Tottenville along the east side of the borough. There is currently no subway service offered for those residents living on the western or northern sides of the borough, but Staten Island light rail is planned for these corridors. The line has a route bullet similar to other subway routes: the letters SIR in a blue circle. It is used only on timetables and on the MTA's site, not on trains. The line runs 24 hours a day every day of the year[4] (since May 10, 2015, the overnight service is on a 30-minute headway[5][6]) and is one of only six mass-transit rail lines in the United States to do so (the others being the PATCO Speedline, the Red and Blue Lines of the Chicago 'L', the Green Line of the Minneapolis-St. Paul METRO, the PATH lines, and the New York City Subway).

On weekdays, express service to St. George is provided between 6:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. and to Tottenville from 7:01 a.m. to 8:01 a.m. and 4:01 p.m. to 7:51 p.m. Morning express trains run non-stop between Great Kills southbound only.[5] Express service is noted on trains by the presence of a red marker with the terminal and 'express' directly underneath it.[1]


  • History 1
    • 19th century operations 1.1
      • Predecessor 1.1.1
      • Organization of the SIRT 1.1.2
      • Opening 1.1.3
      • Expansion 1.1.4
    • 20th century operation 1.2
      • Early 20th century 1.2.1
      • Proposed subway connections 1.2.2
      • 1940s 1.2.3
      • 1950s 1.2.4
      • Late 20th century 1.2.5
    • Current use 1.3
      • Passenger 1.3.1
      • Freight 1.3.2
      • FRA oversight 1.3.3
    • Future 1.4
      • Stations 1.4.1
      • Rolling stock replacement 1.4.2
      • Restoration of the North Shore Branch 1.4.3
  • Route characteristics 2
  • Personnel 3
  • Fares 4
  • Stations 5
  • Former stations on closed lines 6
    • North Shore Branch 6.1
      • Station List 6.1.1
    • South Beach Branch 6.2
      • Station List 6.2.1
    • Mount Loretto Spur 6.3
    • West Shore Line 6.4
    • Industries serviced 6.5
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


19th century operations


SIRT timetable, circa 1867

The first Staten Island Rail Road was incorporated in 1836.[7][8][9] The line was planned from Vanderbilt's Landing (today's Clifton) to Tottenville.[8] The route was to be thirteen miles long and was projected to cost $300,000.[10] The charter was voided in 1838, because of the failure to produce to line within two years of the railroad's incorporation.[8][9] In 1851, prominent farmers and citizens of Staten Island and the Jersey community of Perth Amboy united in an effort to establish a railroad between Tottenville and Stapleton.[9] They organized the Staten Island Railway on August 2, 1851,[8] and work begun on the railroad.[9] Soon afterwards, they ran into financial problems and appealed to Commodore Vanderbilt, who was wealthy, for assistance.[9] Vanderbilt had already gained control of all of the east shore ferries, including the one that obtained a lease at Vanderbilt's Landing, now Clifton.[9] Vanderbilt provided the financial backing for the railroad.[7] Vanderbilt's competition had obtained the lease before him, and Vanderbilt was insistent on stopping them. To do so, he hired an "agent," James R. Robinson, to build a building to physically block the competition.[9] At 1 p.m. on July 28, 1851, "the building was nearly completed when a number of gentlemen appeared with axes and adzes and began tearing the building apart. Mr. Robinson "told some of them," according to the court record, "not to cut said building, and they replied that if deponent did not get out of the way, they would cut him, too.""[9]

William H. Vanderbilt, and island resident and son of Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, became a member of the railway's board of directors in 1858.[8] On February 1, 1860, the first passenger train, an inspection trip for stockholders and officials, ran over the line from Vanderbilt's Landing to Eltingville.[8] Regular passenger service began on April 23, 1860 between Vanderbilt's Landing and Eltingville.[7][9][11] Nearby Vanderbilt's Landing there were ferry slips providing service to Manhattan. The first locomotive's name was the "Albert Journeay", named after the railroad's president.[9] A second locomotive was added to the line on May 5, 1860, and it was named the E. Bancker.[9] The line was extended to

  • Official website
  • thethirdrail - History of SIRT
  • - SIRT: Staten Island Rapid Transit
  • SIRT artifacts in the Staten Island Historical Society Online Collections Database
  • - Staten Island Rapid Transit
  • Gary Owen's SIRT South Beach Line Tribute Page
  • Gary Owen's SIRT North Shore Tribute Page
  • Industrial & Offline Terminal Railroads of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx & Manhattan - American Dock Company
  • Industrial & Offline Terminal Railroads of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx & Manhattan - Pouch Terminal
  • Industrial & Offline Terminal Railroads of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx & Manhattan - Procter & Gamble

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Untitled Document". MTA. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  2. ^ a b " R-44 (St. Louis, 1971-1973)". 1972-01-31. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  3. ^ "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-13. 
  4. ^ a b "MTA/New York City Transit- Staten Island Railway". MTA. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "MTA Staten Island Railway Timetable, Effective May 10, 2015" (PDF). New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-09-13. 
  6. ^ " - The Railway and the Ferry Connection". 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax Roess, Roger P.; Sansome, Gene (2013). The Wheels That Drove New York: A History of the New York City Transit System. Springer. pp. 223–247.  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av Pitanza, Marc (2015). Staten Island Rapid Transit Images of Rail. Arcadia Pubishing.  
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba Leigh, Irvin; Matus, Paul (January 2002). "Staten Island Rapid Transit: The Essential History". The Third Rail Online. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Preston, L. E. (1887). History of Richmond County (Staten Island), New York: From Its Discovery to the Present Time, Part 1. Memorial Publishing Company. 
  11. ^ Poster for opening of Staten Island Railway
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Morris, Ira (1900). Morris's Memorial History of Staten Island, New York 2. Memorial Pubishing Company. 
  13. ^ a b c d "History". 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Rapid Transit on Staten Island". October 3, 1883. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Staten Island's New Railway". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 26, 1883. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  16. ^ ""Proposed Staten Island Rapid Transit Route"- "Existing Ferry Routes are indicated by blue lines"". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. 
  17. ^ "Proposed Staten Island Transit route map 1884 Bridgman (11/22/2010)". Worthpoint. 
  18. ^ Reynolds, Kirk; Oroszi, Dave. Baltimore and Ohio.  
  19. ^ "Affairs of Railroads: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Enters New York". November 22, 1885. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  20. ^ Wiman, Erastus (December 16, 1885). Who Were There What They Said. The Staten Island Banquet to the President and Executives of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce "The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in New Jersey". 
  22. ^ a b c "Staten Island Improvement". September 1888. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "The Largest Drawbridge: Completion of the Big Span Across the Arthur Kill". June 14, 1888. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Over The New Bridge: A Train Runs From Staten Island to New Jersey". January 2, 1890. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Notes Of Various Interests". January 1, 1890. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c d e "Staten Island Rapid Transit: The Road Sold at Auction Yesterday for $2,000,000". April 21, 1899. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "B&O Railroad had strong presence on Staten Island for 100 years". 
  28. ^ "The Tammany Times". 
  29. ^ Kelly, B. F. (December 1921). "Passenger Traffic on Our Staten Island Lines Is the Most Intensive of Any Part of The System". Baltimore and Ohio Magazine (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad). Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  30. ^ "OPENS NEW SERVICE ON ELECTRIFIED LINE; Staten Island Marks End of Steam Locomotives on Perth Amboy Division. LYNCH LEADS CEREMONY Commends B. & O. for Prompt Action in Obeying the Law -- Galloway Asks Cooperation.". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. 
  31. ^ a b "Opens New Service On Electrified Line: Staten Island Marks End of Steam Locomotives on Perth Amboy Division". The New York Times. July 2, 1925. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b c "Official Proceedings of the New York Railroad Club, Volume 36". 
  33. ^ "Eltingville Celebrates Electrification of SIRT, 1925". Secret Staten Island. 
  34. ^ "Staten Island Railway". 1946-06-25. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  35. ^ "Baltimore and Ohio to Operate on Staten Island". The New York Times. October 23, 1895. Retrieved July 14, 2011. 
  36. ^ For equipment roster, see "Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. Summary of Equipment No. 31, January 1, 1932," (1998, Trains and Stuff Ltd.).
  37. ^ "Annual report /". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  38. ^ "Staten Island Plans Rapid Transit Link: Palma Outlines Plan to Use Bayonne Bridge, Jersey Central and Hudson Tubes". The New York Times. August 15, 1936. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Transit System for Manhattan, Jersey Urged: Use of Existing Facilities Proposed as Basis to Speed Transportation". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 1, 1937. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  40. ^ "New Transit Link Is Pledged By Corsi: Says Manhattan-Staten Island Rail Tie-Up Will Be Built If He is Elected". The New York Times. October 19, 1950. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Small Freight Road Merged". The New York Times. February 2, 1945. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Walkout Strands Commuers Here; Tube Halts, 4-Hour L. I.R.R. Tie-Up". The New York Times. May 19, 1946. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Staten Island Fire Wrecks Ferry Terminal, Kills 3; Damage Put at $2,000,000: 22 Go to Hospitals". The New York Times. June 26, 1946. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Staten Island Fire Still Smoldering: City Acts to Vote $3,000,000 to Start Work on Terminal Costing $12,000,000". The New York Times. June 27, 1946. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Special to the New York Times". The New York Times. October 29, 1947. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  46. ^ "Seeks to Halt Ferry Line: S.I. Rapid Transit Files Request With the I.C.C.". The New York Times. October 29, 1947. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  47. ^ "Staten Island Tunnel Approved". The New York Times. May 4, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  48. ^ "Senate Passes Bill to Widen S. I. Tunnel". The New York Times. June 1, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Signs Bill on Richmond Railroad". The New York Times. June 15, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  50. ^ Railway Age August 11, 1952
  51. ^ "Cuts In S.I. Rail Service: Losses in Fares Laid to 7c Bus Rates on Island July 1". The New York Times. August 28, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Rail Service Cuts Stir Staten Island: Hall and Civic Group Attacks PSC and Line – Latter Cites Bus Competition From City". The New York Times. August 29, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  53. ^ "PSC Fails to Prevent S.I. Rail Service Cut". The New York Times. September 3, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  54. ^ "Road Cuts Service On Staten Island: Non-Rush-Hour Schedules Are Reduced by 50 % – Some Night Trains Taken Off". The New York Times. September 6, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  55. ^ "Staten Islanders Protest Train Cuts: Led by Borough President Hall, They Charge Overcrowding With Curtailed Service". The New York Times. September 9, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  56. ^ "Train Service Added For Staten Island". The New York Times. September 14, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  57. ^ "Richmond Travel Traced: Bus Riders Up 25% on Fare Cut, While Rail Total Drops". The New York Times. October 8, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  58. ^ "Ferry To Change Hands: Staten Island Rapid Transit Facility to be Run by Lessee". The New York Times. September 23, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  59. ^ "Ferry Line To Change Hands". The New York Times. September 30, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  60. ^ "Old Sidewheeler Ends Ferry Runs: Staten Island Sound Vessel, 41 Years in Service, Gives Way to Diesel Craft". The New York Times. October 17, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  61. ^ "Grade Crossings Nearly All Gone: Moses Reports 80 Eliminated Since 1939 Authorization – Only Nine More to Go". The New York Times. December 13, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  62. ^ "PSC Asks Railroad To Restore Trains: Order for Renewal of Service on Staten Island is Urged if Line Fails to Comply". The New York Times. January 6, 1949. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  63. ^ "More Trains Ordered for Staten Island". The New York Times. January 30, 1949. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  64. ^ "Line Seeks to Quit On Staten Island: Rapid Transit Railway Cites Its Loss of Business to Low-Fare Bus Lines". The New York Times. May 21, 1949. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  65. ^ "Commission Backs Rail Crossing Ban: Project on Staten Island to cost $6,500,000, Supported by Civil Groups". The New York Times. August 31, 1950. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  66. ^ "Transit Hearing Ordered: Staten Island Railroad Told to Continue All Service". The New York Times. June 17, 1952. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  67. ^ "Richmond Leader Opposes Rail Plan: Hall Protests Before P.S.C on Bid to End Passenger Service on Staten Island". The New York Times. July 10, 1952. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  68. ^ "S.I. Rail Loss Laid To Freight Set-Up: If Road Were Paid for B. & O. Cargo Deficit Would Vanish, P. S. C. Counsel Holds". The New York Times. July 17, 1952. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  69. ^ "S.I. Rail Shutdown Delayed 60 Days: P.S.C. Hearings Adjourned a Like Period to Permit City and Road to Negotiate". The New York Times. July 18, 1952. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  70. ^ Cudahy, Brian J. (January 1, 1990). Over and Back: The History of Ferryboats in New York Harbor. Fordham University Press. p. 282.  
  71. ^ a b c d Drury, George H. (1994). The Historical Guide to North American Railroads: Histories, Figures, and Features of more than 160 Railroads Abandoned or Merged since 1930.  
  72. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "The Old Order Passeth: Rails Surrender To Roads: Passenger Runs on Two Lines of SIRT Will End at Midnight". Staten Island Advance. March 31, 1953. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  73. ^ Ingalls, Leonard (September 8, 1954). "Staten Island Line Would Cease Runs: Railway Renews Bid to End All Passenger Service–Rejects Transit Union Plan". New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  74. ^ "STATIONS OF THE STATEN ISLAND RAILWAY PT. 1". Forgotten New York. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  75. ^ Stover, John F. (1995). History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Purdue University Press.  
  76. ^ a b c d e f g h "Arthur Kill Railroad Lift Bridge". New York Area Roads, Crossings and Exits. 1959-08-25. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  77. ^ Cudahy, Brian J. (1995). Under the Sidewalks of New York: The Story of the Greatest Subway System in (Second Revised Edition ed.). Fordham University Press. p. 169. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  78. ^ Baxter, Raymond J.; Adams, Arthur G. (1999). Railroad Ferries of the Hudson and Stories of a Deckhand. Fordham University Press.  
  79. ^ a b "Staten Island Line Using L.I.R.R. Cars". The New York Times. June 16, 1972. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  80. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "S.I Rapid Transit To Increase Fares To 35 Cents Feb. 1". The New York Times. January 25, 1972. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  81. ^ a b "S.I 'Toonerville Trolley' Gets New Cars". The New York Times. March 1, 1973. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  82. ^ "Staten Island Railway North Shore Line". Internet Archive. 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  83. ^ a b Gerber, David Paul (2015-01-05). "Staten Island Railway". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on January 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  84. ^ David Paul Gerber. "Main Line". Retrieved December 3, 2011. 
  85. ^ [4]
  86. ^ a b c Yates, Maura; Helsel, Phil (July 12, 2008). "Reality check for Staten Island's rail plans". Retrieved February 24, 2009. 
  87. ^ " SIRT Track Map". 
  88. ^ " - Accessibility". 
  89. ^ a b c "Photos, video: Groundbreaking for new Arthur Kill Staten Island Railway station, set to open in 2015". 
  90. ^ "Arthur Kill Railroad Lift Bridge". Retrieved February 24, 2009. 
  91. ^ "New Jersey short line to operate county-owned lines". July 8, 2002. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  92. ^ "New York City welcomes back Staten Island Railroad". April 19, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  93. ^ "NYCEDC – About Us – Our Projects – Completed Projects – Staten Island Railroad Reactivation". Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  94. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg Officially Reactivates the Staten Island Railroad" (Press release). New York City Mayor's Office. April 17, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2010. 
  95. ^ "North Shore Alternatives Analysis: Rail Alignment Drawings Arlington-St. George" (PDF).  
  96. ^ "North Shore Alternatives Analysis: Public Meeting THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010 7:00 p.m." (PDF).  
  97. ^ "NYCT NORTH SHORE ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS: Alternatives Analysis Report" (PDF).  
  98. ^ "Feasibility Study of the North Shore Railroad Right-of-Way Project Assessment Report March 2004" (PDF).  
  99. ^ McIntosh, Elise G. (August 15, 2009). "Bloomberg optimistic about North Shore rail".  
  100. ^ "U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration: Exploring How to Make System Safety Work in Transit; Page 1" (PDF). Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  101. ^ "Federal Railroad Administration: Passenger Rail; Chapter 1". Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  102. ^ Stein, Mark D. (2012-09-27). "It's official: New Staten Island Railway access for Tottenville". Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  103. ^ a b c "Groundbreaking for New MTA Staten Island Railway Arthur Kill Station in Tottenville". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 18, 2013. 
  104. ^ DAnna, Ed A. (May 15, 2008). "A rail station for Rosebank?".  
  105. ^ Savino, Diane J. "Staten Island Railway Rider Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  106. ^ a b MTA Capital Program 2015–2019
  107. ^ [5]
  108. ^ "R44 SMS". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. 
  109. ^ "Staten Island North Shore and West Shore Light Rails". Door to Door Realty. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  110. ^ MTA - Planning Studies. (September 9, 2009). Retrieved on June 23, 2014.
  111. ^ " Staten Island Line to Electrify (1924)". 1924-05-17. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  112. ^ "Coney Island Complex". Retrieved February 24, 2009. 
  113. ^ "DC: A Tunnel from SI to Brooklyn?". 
  114. ^ Kuntzman, Gersh (November 10, 2007). "Fidler's folly: Let's tunnel to SI!". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  115. ^ "Connett Named Head of Staten Island Railway.". Retrieved 2015-Jun-26.
  116. ^ UTU Local 1440 website. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  117. ^ MTA Staten Island Railway 2006 Preliminary Budget July Financial Plan 2006-2009
  118. ^ a b c d e "MTA/New York City Transit- Staten Island Railway". MTA. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  119. ^ "Mayor's Message". June 29, 1997. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  120. ^ Mooney, Jake (2008-09-07). "Soon, It Won’t Even Pay to Walk". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  121. ^ "Fare-saving walk now less of a bargain for Staten Island commuters". 
  122. ^ "Soon, It Won’t Even Pay to Walk". 
  123. ^ "MTA to merge agencies into five companies". October 11, 2002. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  124. ^ "Staten Island's Rapid Transit: The New System Which Lessens Time and Increases Facilities".  
  125. ^ a b " - Station Information". 
  126. ^  
  127. ^ . 
  128. ^ a b c d e Minn, Michael (December 18, 2009). "History and Future of the North Shore Rail Line on Staten Island" (PDF). Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  129. ^ a b " - Station Information". 
  130. ^ [6]
  131. ^ a b "MTA Board Approves Service Changes".  
  132. ^ a b "Gary Owen’s S.I.R.T. South Beach Line Page". Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  133. ^ "Gary Owen’s S.I.R.T. South Beach Line Page". p. 2. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  134. ^ a b c "Gary Owen’s SIRT Page". 
  135. ^ "STATEN ISLAND RAILWAY". Forgotten New York. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  136. ^ Arrochar and South Beach: In the Shadow of the 'Zano.
  137. ^ Advance, Staten Island (2008-12-07). "Permission to dream". Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  138. ^ "Gary Owen SIRT Page Part Two". Gary Owen Land. 1937-04-20. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  140. ^ Eisenstein, Hank; Darlington., Peggy. " SIRT Staten Island Rapid Transit". Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  142. ^ a b " SIRT Staten Island Rapid Transit". 
  143. ^ "Pouch Terminal". 
  1. ^ See this front rollsign, for example.


See also

Industries serviced

The Tottenville-bound track south of Richmond Valley has a non-electrified spur that once ran all the way to the Arthur Kill. The spur was built in the mid 1920s and dubbed by the B&O as the West Shore Line. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) delivered building materials to the Outerbridge Crossing construction site near the Arthur Kill. Later on, the track served a small scrapyard owned by the Roselli Brothers. The track remains intact today all the way to Page Ave. The switch at the spur is well kept and working.[140][141]

West Shore Line

The Mount Loretto Spur is an abandoned branch of the Staten Island Railway whose purpose was to serve the Mount Loretto Children's Home. The spur diverged off of the Main Line south of Pleasant Plains.[139] The B&O served the Mount Loretto non-electrified branch until 1950, which had some industry and a passenger station.[9][134] The Mount Loretto branch track was removed in the 1960s and 1970s but some ties were visible until the 1980s. A coal dump trestle is all that remains, located behind the powerhouse.

Mount Loretto Spur

Miles Name Opened Closed Notes
2.0 Bachmann March 8, 1886 1937
2.1 Rosebank March 8, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
2.5 Belair Road March 8, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
2.7 Fort Wadsworth March 8, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
3.2 Arrochar March 8, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
3.5 Cedar Avenue March 31, 1953[72]
3.9 South Beach March 31, 1953[72]
4.1 Wentworth Avenue 1925 March 31, 1953[72]

Station List

The Robin Road Trestle is the only remaining intact trestle along the former line. In the early 2000s developers purchased the property on either side of the trestle's abutments, but the developers, the [135][136][137][138]

While the entire right of way has been redeveloped, most of the former right of way is still traceable on maps today.[134] The Verrazano Narrows Bridge toll plaza sits on the former ROW.[134]

The South Beach Branch opened on March 8, 1886 to Arrochar, and was extended to Fort Wadsworth sometime after September 1888, when it was proposed to extend the line.[22] The branch closed at midnight Tuesday March 31, 1953.[71][72] It was abandoned and demolished except for three segments: a concrete embankment on on Saint John's Avenue, a trestle spanning Robin Road in South Beach, and a filled-in bridge which McClean Avenue crosses over.[132][133] This 4.1-mile (6.6 km) line left the Main Line at , south of the Clifton station, and lay to the east of the Main Line.

South Beach Branch

Miles Name Opened Closed Notes
0 St. George July 31, 1884
0.1 RCB Ballpark June 24, 2001 June 18, 2010[131]
0.7 New Brighton February 23, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
1.2 Sailors' Snug Harbor February 23, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
1.8 Livingston February 23, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
2.4 West Brighton February 23, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
3.0 Port Richmond February 23, 1886 March 31, 1953
3.4 Tower Hill February 23, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
3.9 Elm Park February 23, 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
4.3 Lake Avenue 1937 March 31, 1953[72]
4.6 Mariners Harbor Summer 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
4.9 Harbor Road 1935 – 1937 March 31, 1953[72]
5.2 Arlington Summer 1886 March 31, 1953[72]
6.1 Port Ivory 1906 1948

Station List

The North Shore Branch closed to passenger service at midnight on Tuesday, March 31, 1953.[9][71][72] A small portion of the western end is used for freight service as part of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal transloading system called ExpressRail, which opened in 2007 and connects to the Chemical Coast after crossing over the Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge. A smaller eastern portion provided seasonal service to the RCB Ballpark (where the Staten Island Yankees play) passenger station from June 24, 2001 to June 18, 2010.[131] Restoration is being discussed along this mostly abandoned 6.1-mile (9.8 km) line as part of the Staten Island light rail plan.[86]

The abandoned North Shore Branch. The Bayonne Bridge can be seen in the background.

North Shore Branch

Former stations on closed lines

Clifton station
Station Min from
St. Geo.[5]
Connections / notes
Stops all times 0 March 7, 1886[124] Staten Island Ferry to Whitehall Terminal
NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S74, S76, S78, S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, S98
Stops all times Tompkinsville 3 July 31, 1884[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S51, S52, S46, S48, S61, S62, S66, S78, S91, S92, S96, S98
Stops all times Stapleton 5 July 31, 1884[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S51, S52, S74, S76, S81, S84
Stops all times Clifton 7 April 23, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S51
Originally Vanderbilt's Landing; access via first three cars northbound[5]
Stops all times Grasmere 10 April 23, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S53
Access via first three cars[125]
Stops all times Old Town 12 April 23, 1860[9] Originally Old Town Road
Stops all times Dongan Hills Handicapped/disabled access 14 April 23, 1860[9] Originally Garretson's
Stops all times Jefferson Avenue 16 April 23, 1860[9]
Stops all times Grant City 17 April 23, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S51
Stops all times New Dorp 19 April 23, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S57, S76, S86
Stops all times Oakwood Heights 21 April 23, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S57
Originally Richmond,[126] then Court House,[127] then Oakwood
Stops all times Bay Terrace 23 April 23, 1860[9] Originally Whitlock
Stops all times Great Kills Handicapped/disabled access 25 April 23, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S54, X7, X8
Southern terminus for select trains
Originally Gifford's
Stops all times Eltingville 27 April 23, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S59, S79 SBS, S89 LTD, X1, X4, X5
Stops all times Annadale 29 May 14, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S55
Stops all times Huguenot 31 June 2, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S55, X17, X17
Academy Bus Academy Bus: X23
Southern terminus for select northbound trains
Originally Bloomingview, then Huguenot Park
Stops all times Prince's Bay 33 June 2, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S55, S56
Academy Bus Academy Bus: X23
Originally Lemon Creek, then Princes Bay
Stops all times Pleasant Plains 35 June 2, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S55, X17, X22
Stops all times Richmond Valley 37 June 2, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: X17
Access via first three cars[125]
Stops all times Nassau 39 c. 1922[9][128] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S78
Access via last car only;[103][129] will close upon opening of Arthur Kill[1]
Station closed Arthur Kill Handicapped/disabled access April 2016[1] Under construction[1]
Stops all times Atlantic 40 c.1909–1921[128][130] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S78
Access via last car only;[103][129] will close upon opening of Arthur Kill[1]
Stops all times Tottenville Handicapped/disabled access 42 June 2, 1860[9] NYCT Bus NYCT Bus: S78
Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Station closed Future station
Time period details


Fare is payable by MetroCard.[118] Since this card enables free transfers for a continuing ride on the subway and bus systems, for many more riders there is effectively no fare at all for riding SIR.[118] Riders are also allowed to transfer between a Staten Island bus, SIR, and a Manhattan bus or subway near South Ferry.[118] Because of this, the SIR's farebox recovery ratio in 2001 was 0.16—that is, for every dollar of expense, 16 cents was recovered in fares, the lowest ratio of MTA agencies. The low farebox recovary ratio is part of the reason the MTA wishes to merge the SIR with the subway proper is to simplify the accounting and subsidization of what is essentially a single line.[123]

In the past, passengers often avoided paying the fare by exiting at Tompkinsville, and taking a short walk to the St. George ferry terminal. Because of this, the MTA installed turnstiles at Tompkinsville, along with a new stationhouse which opened on January 20, 2010.[120][121][122]

[83] The cash fare is $2.75, the same fare as on the


Until June 2005, the Staten Island Railway had a 25-officer Railroad Police force known as the "Staten Island Rapid Transit Police". On June 1, 2005, they were merged into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police creating the MTA Police District #9 which covered the Staten Island Railway.[117]

The hourly employee workforce of around 200 employees is represented by United Transportation Union Local 1440.[116]

The current head of Staten Island Railway is Douglas Connett, who holds the position Vice President and Chief Officer since his appointment in June 2015.[115]


Over the years there have been several proposals for connecting the SIR with the subway system (including the incomplete Staten Island Tunnel and a possible line along the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge), as it uses B Division-sized cars and loading gauge, but various economic, political, and engineering difficulties have prevented this from happening.[113][114]

The right-of-way also includes elevated, embankment and open-cut portions, and a tunnel near St. George.

In general appearance, the current operating line of SIR looks somewhat like an outdoor line of the [111] Its equipment is specially modified subway vehicles, purchased at the same time as nearly identical cars for NYCT. Heavy maintenance of the equipment is performed at NYCT's Clifton Shops. Any work that cannot be performed at Clifton requires the cars to be trucked over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the subway's Coney Island Complex shops in Brooklyn.[112]

New Dorp station

Route characteristics

In 2012, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released an analysis of transportation solutions for the North Shore, which included proposals for the reintroduction of heavy rail, light rail, or bus rapid transit using the North Shore line's right-of-way. Other options included transportation systems management which would improve existing bus service, and the possibility of future ferry and water taxi services. Bus rapid transit was the preferred for its cost and relative ease of implementation, which would require $352 million in capital investment. The analysis evaluated the alternatives according to their ability to "Improve Mobility", "Preserve and Enhance the Environment, Natural Resources and Open Space", and "Maximize Limited Financial Resources for the Greater Public Benefit". The project has yet to receive funding.[110]

In an 2006 report, Arlington station. Completion of the study is necessary to qualify the project for the estimated $360 million. A preliminary study found that ridership could hit 15,000 daily.[86] $4 million of federal funding was requested for a detailed feasibility study by New York state senator Chuck Schumer.[109]

Restoration of the North Shore Branch

Elected officials on Staten Island, such as Diane Savino, have been demanding replacement of the Staten Island Railway's aging R44 cars.[105] There is money allocated in the MTA's 2015-2019 capital program to replace the R44s[106] with new train cars from the R211 order.[106] Until then, the R44s are undergoing another round of SMS to extend their usefulness until at least 2021.[107][108]

Rolling stock replacement

There is also discussion of rebuilding a Rosebank station, which will bridge the longest gap between two stations (Grasmere and Clifton). A Rosebank station once existed on the now-defunct South Beach Branch of the railway.[104]

The MTA broke ground on a new, $15.3 million, ADA compliant station named Arthur Kill, near the southern terminus of the present line on October 18, 2013.[89] The constructor is John P. Picone, Inc., which was awarded the contract July 31, 2013 [102] It is sited between, and will replace both the Atlantic and Nassau stations, which are in the poorest condition of all the stations on the line.[103] The new station, which can platform a four-car train, is expected to open in April 2016.[1] MTA will also provide parking for 150 automobiles across the street.[89]



Unlike PATH, SIR is not under FRA oversight,[100][101] except for the separate restored freight service. However their new signal system complies with the FRA and the NORAC book of rules regulations, and is very similar to the older railroad signal system inherited from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) Company - the original and previous owners of this line, which do not have tripping devices and arms. Also the cab signaling on the R44's complies with same, since these cars do not have trip cocks, unlike their subway car cousins which are equipped with them for tripping the emergency brakes after passing red signals. The SIR was previously under FRA oversight until 1988.[9]

FRA oversight

The Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge was renovated in 2006 and began regular service on April 2, 2007, sixteen years after the bridge closed.[92] A portion of the North Shore Line was rehabilitated, the Arlington Yard was expanded, and 6,500 feet (1,981 m) of new track was laid along the Travis Branch to Fresh Kills.[93] Soon after service restarted on the line, Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially commemorated the reactivation on April 17, 2007.[94] On behalf of the City of New York, the New York City Economic Development Corporation formed an agreement with CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, and Conrail to provide service over the reactivated line to haul waste from the Staten Island Transfer Station and ship container freight from the Howland Hook Marine Terminal and other industrial businesses. Along the remainder of the North Shore Branch, there are still tracks and rail overpasses in some places.[95][96][97][98][99]

The New York Port Authority announced plans for reopening the old SIRT New Jersey line to freight traffic in the early 2000s.[21] A new junction to the former Lehigh Valley would be built, since the CNJ mainline then became a New Jersey Transit operation.[21] Two rail tunnels to Brooklyn were planned; one from Greenville, NJ, the other from Staten Island, so that New England and southern freight could again access and pass through the New York metropolitan area.[21] On December 15, 2004, the NYCEDC and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced a joint $72 million project to rehabilitate the Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge and reactivate freight rail service on Staten Island.[76] Specific projects on the Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge included repainting the steel superstructure and rehabilitating the lift mechanism.[76] The freight line connection from New Jersey to the Staten Island Railway was completed in June 2006, and is operated in part by the Morristown and Erie Railway under contract with the State of New Jersey and other companies.[91]

In 1994, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) purchased the Arthur Kill Railroad Lift Bridge and the North Shore branch from CSX (which acquired the rail line from the bankrupt Delaware-Otsego Corporation).[76] This purchase was followed by nearly a decade of false starts.[76] With the break-up of Conrail in 1998, portions of the lines once run by B&O competitors became a part of CSX.[21] A high voltage power line had been built over part of the former Baltimore & New York right of way several years before and had earned some rental income.[21] The railroad line itself was intact from Cranford to Arlington. Then, the CSX started operating the former Reading, Lehigh Valley and New York Central lines among other predecessor roads.[21]

[90][8] and the operation ceased on July 25, 1991, when the Arthur Kill bridge was taken out of service.[76] Freight traffic dropped off considerably, and the last freight train over the bridge came in 1990,[8] Procter & Gamble the line's largest customer closed in 1990.[8] In April 1985, a lack of business and access forced the C&O system to sell the Staten Island Railroad to the [21][8] The St. George Yard was essentially abandoned, except for servicing a few isolated Staten Island industries still using rail service.[21] In September 1979, this car float operation was taken over by the New York Dock Railway and was terminated in 1980.[21] The B&O then moved its car float freight back to St. George on Staten Island.[21] Meanwhile, the Jersey Central had closed its car float yard at Jersey City by 1973.

The B&O, through a merger with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, became part of the larger C&O system.[8][21] The freight operation on the island was renamed the Staten Island Railroad Corporation in 1971.[8][21] On April 1, 1976, with the establishment of Conrail via the merger of bankrupt lines in the northeast United States, B&O and C&O became isolated from its New Jersey and Staten Island properties.[8][21] B&O and C&O freight service was truncated to Philadelphia, although for several years afterward, Conrail forwarded one B&O freight train a day to Cranford Junction, with B&O locomotives running through as well.[21]


There are Park N Ride facilities at the Prince's Bay, Huguenot, Annadale, Great Kills, and Dongan Hills stations.[5] Once the new Arthur Kill Road station opens, there will be Park N Ride facilities there as well.[89]

Only the Great Kills and Tottenville stations of the Staten Island Railway are currently in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, with elevators and or ramps.[4][88] However, the new Arthur Kill Road station, which will replace the Atlantic and Nassau stations, will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ADA, when it opens in April 2016.[1]

[87] with even the possibility of through service between Arlington/Port Ivory and Tottenville, which the aforementioned Ballpark wye makes feasible.[86] In 2001, a small section of the easternmost portion of the North Shore Branch (a few hundred feet) was reopened to provide passenger service to the new

The last passenger trains on both the North Shore and South Beach Branches ran on March 31, 1953. The right-of-way of the South Beach Branch was eventually de-mapped and the tracks have been removed.

At Tottenville, there is a three track yard, with two tracks on either side of a concrete station platform. [84] Only the north-south Main Line is in passenger service. The terminal station at St. George provides a direct connection to the


Old Town powerhouse

Current use

Revenue passenger traffic, in millions of passenger-miles
Year Traffic
1925 67
1944 81
1960 37
1967 38
Source: ICC annual reports

In 1994, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reinstituted the line's original name; the passenger portion of the line is called MTA Staten Island Railway.[8]

On February 28, 1973,[81] new R44 cars — the same as the newest cars then in use on the subway lines in the other boroughs — were pressed into service on the Staten Island line, replacing the PS Standard rolling stock that had been inherited from the B&O and had remained in continuous service since 1925.[2][82][83]

For the first time since 1958, the fare on the SIRT was increased on September 1, 1972 to 35 cents.[80] The increase was from an average fare of 22 cents. The fare increase applied to the whole system, and was accompanied by the elimination of commutation tickets and student tickets.[80] Previously, fares ranged from 20 to 35 cents. 16 per cent of riders of the 17,000 daily riders had no change in fare.[80] There was a 10 per cent increase for 51 per cent of passengers and a 15 per cent increase for the remaining 33 per cent.[80] The fare increase was expected to bring in an extra $400,000 a year.[80] At the time, the line was operating at a deficit of $2.9 Milion a year, with $2.5 Million of it offset by a subsidy from the city.[80] The MTA, at the time, had plans for a $25 Million improvement program for the line, including 52 new cars, the R44s.[80] The R44s were planned to go into service by the end of 1973.[80] Improvements were also planned for the tower and signal systems, for the roadbed and for the stations.[80] Increased power, 8,000 feet of new rails, and mercury-vapor lighting at 14 of the 22 stations were also part of the plan.[81] Three quarters of the $25 Million were to be provided by 1967 state transportation bond issue.[80] The remaining $6.25 Million was to be paid by the city.[80]

[79] On June 15, 1972, seventeen-year-old air conditioned coaches on loan from the

On January 1, 1970, New York City's lease of the St. George-Tottenville line was terminated; after that date the city reimbursed the railroad for its passenger deficits. On July 1, 1971 operation of the Tottenville line was turned over to the Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority, a division of the state's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the line itself was purchased by the city of New York.[21] The B & O still retained rights to handle freight along the line to Tottenville.[21] Before that sale could be made final, however, the B&O had to complete several miles of grade crossing elimination along the SIRT Tottenville line, this work had been held up since the 1930s in part because of the Depression, World War II and declining finances.[21]

The last grade railroad crossings were eliminated in 1965 and 1966 between Jefferson Avenue and Grant City.[9] A shoo-fly track was constructed to the east of the original line while a new crossing free line was constructed upon the original right of way.[9] The SIRT continued to lose money even as they rebuilt stations between Jefferson Avenue and New Dorp almost into the 1970s. Rail traffic via the Arthur Kill Bridge dropped dramatically with the closing of Bethlehem Steel in 1960, and of U.S. Gypsum in 1972.[76] Some traffic remained for B&O operations into the 1970s on Staten Island, and car floats were still reasonably busy.[21]

[78] Until the completion of the

In 1963, the railroad discontinued its ferry service between Tottenville and Perth Amboy Ferry Slip at Perth Amboy, New Jersey.[77]

A fire at Clifton Shops on April 5, 1962, destroyed seven train cars, adding to 13 lost in two previous fires and two that were scrapped.[9] This left the SIRT with only 48 cars to operate service with.[9] This car shortage meant that all but four of the SIRT's train cars were in service during rush hours, which is an uncomfortably small margin.[9] In order to maintain this service, the SIRT had carefully scheduled maintenance for their train cars.[9] A number of trains were rushed back to Saint George as passenger-free expresses, after dropping their loads in the evening rush, helping make up for the lack of train cars.[9] The Transit Authority set aside nine BMT Standards for a possible transfer to the SIRT due to the car shortage.[9] The SIRT also looked at a proposal to transfer some D type cars.[9] Neither of the proposals came to pass.[9]

Late 20th century

The industrial track on the West Shore of Staten Island, the Travis Branch, built in the 1930s to Gulfport, was extended to serve a new Consolidated Edison power plant in Travis, along Staten Island's west shore.[8][21] This was done for long-unit coal trains from West Virginia to the plant.[8][21] Even late in the 1950s, the B&O continued to invest in its New Jersey and Staten Island holdings.[21]

In 1957, the aging Arthur Kill swing bridge was knocked off its center pier foundation by a passing Esso oil tanker.[8][21] With the bridge rendered useless freight traffic for the island was routed through float bridges, with most of the B & O's freight traffic for the New York area forwarded through the Central Railroad of New Jersey's yards at Jersey City.[8][21] The old swing bridge was replaced in 1959 with a state-of-the-art, 558 foot vertical lift bridge.[8][21] The 2,000 ton lift span was prefabricated, then floated into place.[8] The new bridge was raised 135 feet and since the new bridge aided navigation on the Arthur Kill, the United States government assumed 90 percent of the $11 million cost of the project.[75]Freight trains started crossing the bridge when it opened on August 25, 1959.[76] The new bridge had space for one track.[76]

[21] From Cranford, the equipment of both trains dead-headed to Baltimore early that afternoon.[21] As soon as the Queen’s motorcade left the yard, an SIRT switcher took each train back to Cranford Junction, hauling them in reverse.[21] On October 21, 1957, four years after North Shore Branch passenger trains ended, the very last SIRT special, a

In the years 1953–1954 the SIRT sold 30 of its passenger cars to the Transit Authority as the Tottenville line did not need require the additional equipment left over after the North Shore and South Beach lines were closed.[9]

On September 7, 1954, SIRT made an application to discontinue all passenger service on the Tottenville Branch on October 7 of the same year.[9][73] The Public Service Commission warned that if the SIRT discontinued its passenger service, action would be taken to kick the SIRT's parent company, the B&O Railroad, off of Staten Island, which would have meant the end of the prospering freight operation. Passenger Service on the Tottenville Branch was kept, with a large city subsidy.[9]

SIRT discontinued passenger service on the North Shore Branch to Arlington and the South Beach Branch to South Beach at midnight on March 31, 1953 because of city-operated bus competition; the South Beach branch was abandoned shortly thereafter while the North Shore Branch continued to carry freight.[8][71][72] The third rail on both of the lines were removed by 1955.[8]

A modern replacement terminal for Saint George opened on June 8, 1951, although portions of the terminal were phased into service earlier.[70]

On July 9, 1952, hearings began concerning the proposed abandonment of the road.[67] On July 16, 1952, in the hearings, the PSC counsel stated that had the operating deficits that have been charged to the passenger service of the SIRT would disappear had the operations were included with the freight profits of the B & O Railroad in the New York area.[68] After some hearings, the SIRT changed its planned abandonment date as September 12, 1952. The commissioner of the commission, adjourned meetings until September 17. The commissioner council, John T. Ryan, said that a provision needed to be made for an additional two months of service, that would extend service to November 12, 1952.[69]

On June 3, 1952, the SIRT asked again to discontinue its passenger service on July 7, 1952. On June 16, 1952, the PSC ordered the SIRT to continue all of its passenger service pending a hearing before the state agency and a decision on the line's request to abandon its service.[66]

On August 30, 1950, the Public Service Commission announced a new plan to eliminate grade crossings of the SIRT, which would have cost $6,500,000. The plan was only approved with the assurance from the city that if passenger service was discontinued the city would guarantee that residents of the area would not be neglected as to some form of transportation. A bridge was also proposed as part of the plan to go over the never built Willowbrook Expressway.[65]


On May 20, 1949, it was announced that the SIRT wanted to discontinue service on all of its three branches, and that it would soon ask for permission from the PSC to do so. A major reason for the discontinuance of service was the loss of $1,061,716 in 1948. Three options would be given by the PSC; that the railway must continue its operations, have the service substituted by buses, or have the city take over the railway service as part of the municipal transit system.[64]

On January 5, 1949, the Public Service Commission recommended that the SIRT restore the trains cut in September 1948. If the SIRT refused to restore the trains, the Public Service Commission would order the SIRT to restore the service, as then the SIRT would go on a path toward the discontinuance of service. Borough President Hall of Richmond suggested lowering the fare to 10 cents or a 20 cent round trip in order to make up the lost money.[62] On January 29, 1949, the Public Service Commission order the SIRT to restore five trains and to reschedule seven other trains for public convenience. The PSC gave the SIRT until February 13 to carry out the order.[63]

Completion of the grade elimination projects at Grant City, New Dorp, Oakland Heights, Bay Terrace involving thirteen crossings, and was projected to cost $7,400,000. The project was set to begin in 1949.[61]

On September 22, 1948, the Interstate Commerce Commission allowed the SIRT to abandon the ferry it had operated for 88 years between Tottenville and Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The ferry operation was transferred to Sunrise Ferries, Inc of Elizabeth, New Jersey, which had reached an agreement to lease the railway's ferry facilities at Tottenville, and to lease from Perth Amboy wharf and dock properties there. The lease with the railway was for five years and gives it the right to renew for three five year periods.[58] The service was transferred on October 16.[59] The schedules and the 5 cent fare for the ferry stayed the same.[60]

In 1948, the city board of transportation took over all of the bus lines on Staten Island,[8] and on July 1, 1948 the bus fare on Staten Island dropped from 5 cents per zone (20 cents Tottenville to the ferry) to 7 cents for the whole island, or 12 cents including a Manhattan subway ride. In 1947, SIRT carried 12.3 million passengers and the number started decreasing with 8.7 million in 1948 and 4.4 million in 1949, as a result of rapid transit customers switching from SIRT to the buses.[50] As a result of the 7 cent fare the SIRT announced on August 28, 1948, that it would reduce service on all three branches on September 5, 1948. Service would be reduced from 15 minute intervals in non-rush hours to 30 minutes during that time, and from 5 to 10 minutes in rush hours to 10 to 15 minutes during rush hours.[51] The reducing of the bus fare meant that in July passenger traffic dropped 32% on the Tottenville Division and 40% on the other two divisions. The day afterwards, Borough President Cornelius A. Hall of Richmond and Staten Island civic organizations announced that they would oppose the cuts that were proposed in service.[52] On September 2, 1948, the PSC failed to prevent the cut in SIRT service. 237 of its present 492 weekday trains would be cut and the schedule of its expresses would be reduced during rush hours. Thirty percent of the company's personnel were laid off.[53] The cuts became effective at 3:01 A. M. on September 5, 1948, and at the same hour schedules calling for a reduction in rush hour service and the cancellation of all night trains after 1:29 A. M.[54] On September 7, 1948, Borough President Hall of Richmond continued to rally against the cuts made by the SIRT at a Public Service Commission hearing in Manhattan. Commuters testified that trains were missing connections to ferry boats and that some trains were being held at the Saint George Terminal in the rush hour to wait for two boatloads of passengers. Previously, they said, the trains pulled out with only one boatload of passengers.[55] On September 13, 1948 the SIRT agreed to add four trains, and to extend the schedule of four others.[56] Bus riders were up 25% after fare cut, and passengers on the SIRT dropped.[57]

On May 3, 1948, the House approved a bill to permit the SIRT to widen its railroad tunnel at the Saint George Ferry Terminal. The tunnel, which was constructed under Federally-owned land would be widened 19 feet for a distance of 456 feet.[47] The tunnel would allow the laying of a third track and permit the operation of more trains from Saint George to Tottenville and South Beach. The extra track would also facilitate better handling of trains at the ferry terminal at Saint George. The bill passed the Senate on June 1, 1948,[48] and it was signed by President Truman on June 14, 1948.[49]

On October 28, 1947, Mayor John A. Delaney and the City Commission created a plan to fight the SIRT's proposal to abandon service between the city and Tottenville. The Mayor criticized the railroad for the failing to notify the city of its intentions.[45] On the same date, the SIRT filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission to get permission to discontinue ferry service between Tottenville and Perth Amboy, NJ. The SIRT said that the abandonment should be permitted because of "the substantial deficits being incurred in operation of the service, which covers a distance of 3,600 feet".[46]

On June 25, 1946, a fire wrecked the terminal at Saint George killing three people and causing damage worth $22,000,000. The fire destroyed the ferry terminal and the four slips used for Manhattan service, the terminal for Staten Island Rapid Transit trains, and a small building and slip owned by the city and used by the Army and Navy in transporting their men from Staten Island to the United States Naval Depot at Bayonne.[43] Two days after the fire, the city voted $3,000,000 to start work on building a new $12,000,000 terminal, that would be opened in 1948.[44]

On May 18, 1946, a strike of engineers and trainmen that had affected many other railroads in the region, such as the Hudson & Manhattan and the Long Island Rail Road, also affected the SIRT, but service returned by the end of the evening. Crews had remained on their trains in terminals awaiting from their leaders of official notification of the truce.[42]

Before, during WW II and after, there were a number of special trains beyond the troop movements that were handled by the B&O over its New Jersey track to Staten Island.[21] One pre-war train was a special for Winston Churchill, taking him to a ship at Stapleton for one of his many Atlantic crossings.[21] SIRT provided a shined-up locomotive, sporting polished rods, white driver tires and a white-uniformed engine crew for that movement.[21]

In 1945, SIRT purchased the property of the B&NY and merged it with the Staten Island Railway.[21][41] The SIRT worked this line with its own as well as assigned B&O locomotives since it was opened in 1890.[21]

Freight and WWII traffic, helped pay the bills.[21] It even put the SIRT on a profitable basis for a few years.[21] B&O ran freight trains to Jersey City as well as to Staten Island.[21] By that time, B&O crews could run through without changing at the various junction points.[21] However, B&O crews did not operate into Staten Island.[21] SIRT crews handled all the traffic to and from Cranford Junction.[21] During WW II, the SIRT exclusively handled all east coast military hospital trains.[21] The Stapleton piers were designated for hospital ship docking.[21] New York was the only east coast Port of Call for European Theatre hospital ships.[21] The hospital trains ran through to their inland connections via Cranford Junction.[21] Some stopped at Arlington to transfer wounded servicemen to a large military hospital on Staten Island.[21] Troop movements, POW trains and war material as well crossed the Arthur Kill to and from Cranford Junction and their appointed destinations.[21] This kept the five mile stretch of B&O track in Union County N. J. busy and shiny.[21]

The timetable from October 15, 1940, shows 248 trains leaving St George each weekday (Mon-Fri) with 80 to Tottenville, 4 to Great Kills, 82 to South Beach, 79 to Arlington and 3 to Port Ivory.


Staten Island Borough President Joseph A. Palma proposed in 1936 to extend the Staten Island Rapid Transit to Manhattan. He proposed extending the tracks across the Bayonne Bridge, using two available lanes, then going three miles, then connecting to the Jersey Central, and then via the Hudson & Manhattan (today's PATH) to Manhattan.[38] The Port of New York Authority endorsed the same plan in 1937, with the utilization of the Erie Railroad main line to Patterson also part of the plan. There would be a terminal at 51st Street in Manhattan near Rockefeller Center to serve the trains of Erie, West Shore, Lackawanna, Jersey Central, and trains from Staten Island, with these services terminating at 51st instead of in Jersey City.[39] This original proposal was brought back in 1950, by Edward Corsi, a Republican candidate for mayor.[40]

On February 4, 1932, the headway on trains was decreased to 15 minutes from 20 minutes between 9:29 p.m. and 10:29 p.m. and was decreased to 30 minutes from 40 minutes between 10:29 p.m. and 1:29 a.m. on the Perth Amboy Division.[37]

In anticipation of a Mount Loretto Spur, and the Travis Branch[34] were not electrified due to the high cost.[8] The electrification brought no big increase in traffic, and the tunnel was never built.[35] The Baltimore & Ohio owned both the railway and the Staten Island Ferry.[36]

Proposed subway connections

Up until the year 1921, 3,369,400 trains had been operated on the SIRT and there had been no fatalities.[29]

By the 1910s, both Arlington and St. George Yards were at capacity, with cars at both yards awaiting car float transport to West 26th Street and other connections around the harbor.[21] To ease the load on Staten Island by 1912, the B&O again ran through freight into Jersey City on the Jersey Central. Staten Island would continue to be used as well and developed a heavy coal trade for the B&O. Staten Island’s deep water piers never generated traffic of the size experienced along the East and Hudson Rivers except in wartime.[21]

One of the main goals of Staten Island was municipal acquisition of the Ferry and replacement of the fleet, which came to fruition on October 25, 1905, in which the city took ownership of the ferry and terminals, wasting no time in ejecting B&O from Whitehall Street terminal. The city then spent $2,318,720 on a new St. George terminal.[13]

As of 1903, there were almost 50 daily trips on both the North Shore Branch and South Beach Branches, and 22 daily trips on the Tottenville Branch. There were also two daily express trains to Tottenville.[28]

In 1900, the B&O was put under the control of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which made a number of improvements to the road.[21] The PRR allowed the newly developed New Jersey, New York and Staten Island properties to remain intact.[21][27] For a short while in 1900 the SIRT operated a B&O connection passenger train from St. George to Plainfield, NJ.[21][27] Within a few years the B&O was profitable again and emerged from PRR control as a stronger railroad.[21]

Staten Island Rapid Transit, 1952

Early 20th century

20th century operation

The joint railroad-ferry terminal was completed in 1897.[7]

By February 1896, the B&O found itself bankrupt.[21] While paying dearly to reach New York, the B&O had neglected its western lines that were now in poor condition.[21] In an attempt to refinance, J. P. Morgan intervened and replaced B&O’s top management.[21] The Rapid Transit Railway and all of its real and personal property held in the company, was sold at auction, at the First National Bank at Saint George, on April 20, 1899. The sale was in foreclosure proceedings in the name of Charles E. Lewis, as trustee for the holders of the secured mortgaged bonds, and the property was purchased by representatives of the B & O railroad company for $2,000,000.[12][26] The bid was made by Harold Bronner, R. H. Minzer, and Frank Geary who were acting for the B & O railroad.[26] The railroad already owned the line from Elizabethport, New Jersey to South Beach including the Arthur Kill Bridge.[26] It was rumored that the trains of the B & O railroad would be rerouted from Communipow station to Saint George.[26] The management at the time of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Road continued after the purchase.[26]

By March 1890, the B&O line between St. George and Cranford Jct. was open to traffic.[21] Immediately after the bridge was built, both the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania railroads brought pressure upon the U.S. War Department for its removal.[21] They declared the new bridge to be a menace to navigation, since both roads handled a large volume of coal barge traffic past Staten Island’s Holland Hook, where the bridge was standing.[21] The railroads petitioned to have the bridge torn down and replaced with one of a different design.[21] Ultimately the B&O obtained approval from the U.S. Congress for its bridge, as it spanned a navigable waterway between two states.[21]

Erastus Wiman was at the throttle of the engine during the trip.[24] Crowds gathered at the various stations from Saint George to Erastina.[24] The officers of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway Company called the trip an inspection trip.[24] Aboard the trip was President of the SIRT J. Frank Emmons, Chief Engineer Charles Ackenheir, who built the bridge, Secretary William Keutgen, Paymaster W. H. Prall, Lawyers Macfarland and Boardman, General Passenger Agent R. W. Pollock, Extine Norton, President of the Louisville and Nashville, Major Clarence Barrett, P. H. Marshall, General Freight Agent in New York of the Baltimore & Ohio, and Frank A. Gannon, General Superintendent of SIRT.[24] The train left Saint George at 11 o' clock, and then went via short run, five and one quarter miles to the Arthur Kill Bridge, where the first stop was made.[24] Here, Mr. Wiman climbed into the cab, and then continued to Cranford Junction, where the line meets up with the Jersey Central Railroad.[24] The trip back allowed for friends of the railroad to engage in speeches,[24] and returned to Saint George at 3 o' clock.[25]

Trains were planned to start running on the Arthur Kill Bridge by September 1.[23] This date wasn't reached and the opening was delayed fifteen months to January 1, 1890,[8] when the first train operated from Saint George Terminal to Cranford Junction, because the approaches to the Arthur Kill Bridge were not finished.[24] The land for the approaches was low and swampy and as a result it was necessary to build 6,000 feet of trestle on the Staten Island side, and 4,000 feet on the New Jersey side.[24] Altogether there was two miles of elevated structure.[24]

At the time, the new bridge was the largest drawbridge ever constructed in the world. There was not a single accident in the construction of the bridge, and the builders had fear that a strike in the iron works would occur and therefore would delay the work beyond the prescribed time.[23] The opening of the bridge was celebrated with a party going along the Arthur Kill aboard the tugboat P.J. Nevius to see the bridge thrown across the Arthur Kill for the first time.[23] On the boat included J. Frank Emmons, President of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company, Erastus Wiman, Louis De Jonge, a director of the Staten Island Railroad, Albert S. Boardman, general counsel for the company, Frank S. Gannon, Superintendent of the railroad, and Charles Ackenheir, the engineer under whose superintendence the bridge was constructed.[23] At 4: 15 P. M. everything was ready for the test, and slowly the bridge moved around, and swung around connecting New York and New Jersey for the first time by bridge.[23] It took four and a half minutes the first time to turn the bridge the first time, but took only three minutes the second time.[23] It was claimed that when the parts of the bridge were in smooth working order it would take as little as two minutes.[23] The overall cost for the construction of the bridge was $450,000.[23] The bridge consisted of five pieces of masonry, the center one being midstream, and on it resting was the draw.[23] There was 208 feet on each side of the draw, and the draw span for the bridge was 500 feet, and the fixed spans 150 feet each, making the bridge 800 feet in length, to span the Arthur Kill, which was 600 feet wide.[23] The height of the bridge was 30 feet above the low water mark.[23] The approach for the bridge on the Staten Island side was still under construction at the time. It required four weeks to erect the draw span and put it together, and two weeks longer to put the machinery in order.[23] Six-hundred and fifty-six tons of iron were required to construct the draw and 85 tons for each of the approaches.[23]

An Act of Congress authorizing the constructing a 500-foot (150 m) swing bridge over the Arthur Kill became a law on June 16, 1886, after three years of effort by Erastus Wiman, the originator and promoter of the bridge.[23] The plans and location for the bridge were subject to the approval of the Secretary of War, who put them on hold for nine months, and agreed to the plans without change, and the construction of the bridge began immediately, in April 1887.[8][23] Construction of the bridge had barely started when the State of New Jersey procured an injunction, on motion from Governor Green and Attorney General Stockton, which halted construction for six months.[23] The injunction was stopped in the United States Circuit Court by Justice Bradley, whose opinion stated that it was the right of Congress to regulate commerce, even against the wishes of the states immediately affected.[23] Construction on the bridge then immediately commenced through the brutal winter of 1888.[23] It was considered absolutely necessary to complete the work through the winter because the limit of time for the completion of the bridge as set by Congress was June 16, 1888, two years after signing the bill.[23] The bridge was completed three days early on June 13, 1888, at 3 p.m.[9][12][22][23]

Baltimore & Ohio Viaduct Under Construction Over the Arthur Kill Connecting Staten Island and New Jersey

Just over five miles long, the line was double-tracked as far as Bantas, a little station that stood about a mile and a half from Cranford Junction. Just east of Cranford, a crossing with the Lehigh Valley and a connection made, was named Staten Island Junction. The Lehigh Vally Railroad was also under construction at the time. Another junction was built to reach the Pennsylvania at Linden. A precipitous grade lead down and north from the Baltimore & New York trestle and fill work to the east side of the PRR main line, where a small interchange yard was built. Nearly a third of this line was built on wood trestle work and bridges, from the grade east of St. George’s Avenue and onward to the Arthur Kill. Some of the wooden trestle work was filled in with cinders as time went by. A two-track, pin-connected truss bridge was built over the PRR mainline at Linden, although the line is single track at that point. The B&NY line then crossed the northwestern corner of Standard Oil’s Linden Refinery (Esso, now Exxon) with a round-about branch reaching down into the refinery. However, the Jersey Central handled the bulk of rail traffic with Standard Oil. The Baltimore & New York line ended at the Arthur Kill Bridge.

The very first idea for a rail link from New Jersey to Staten Island was a B & O line directly from Philadelphia to Staten Island, but it was prohibitively expensive.[21] The B & O was buying stock in the Reading Railroad, as was the New York Central.[21] A second idea was to build from Bound Brook Junction to Staten Island.[21] However, this would have bypassed the Jersey Central, in which the Reading Company was obtaining a controlling interest.[21] In time, the Reading would construct a coal hauling branch from Bound Brook to Port Reading on the Arthur Kill, opposite Staten Island’s west shore.[21] The final plan was to build a line east from Cranford on the Jersey Central to the Arthur Kill, through Union County and the communities of Roselle Park and Linden.[21] Incorporated as the Baltimore & New York Railway in October 1888, construction started the following year.[21] In October 1888, the B & O created the Baltimore & New York Railroad (B&NY), another B&O subsidiary, in order to construct this line.[8][21] Construction started in 1889[21] and the line was completed in late 1889 and included strategic interchange points with the Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley Railroads.[8]

On March 7, 1886, the fundamental elements of Wiman's plan opened when the Saint George Terminal opened, with North Shore trains operating between Elm Park and Saint George, and east shore trains operating between Saint George and Tottenville.[7][13] Within a few days, the South Shore Beach line opened for service.[7][9][12][22]

A small yard was built at Saint George and the North Shore Branch was completed in 1885. The Rapid Transit Railroad was open for service on February 23, 1886, and trains ran as far as Elm Park, making the time between the city and that point 39 minutes instead of an hour and a half, as it had been common in the old ferry system.[10] The rest of the line to Arlington opened in the summer of 1886.[8]

In order to build a rail line across Staten Island’s north shore to reach New Jersey, rights to a horse car line running along Richmond Terrace were purchased.[21] This road followed the shore line across Staten Island reaching a ferry to Elizabeth, NJ that had been in operation since the mid-1700s.[21] Opposition from property owners in Sailor's Snug Harbor made the B&O build nearly two miles of rock fill out from shore and along the Kill van Kull for its tracks at the cost of $25,000.[8][10][21] An additional obstacle in the construction of the road was a contest in litigation, in which the company was involved, in gaining a passage across the cove at Palmer's run.[10] A strip of property was secured through the town of Port Richmond, where a number of home and business owners were displaced.[21] At Old Place, on Staten Island’s northwestern corner, a farm was purchased and the area renamed "Arlington" by the B&O railroad.[21] A freight yard was built in Arlington by 1886.[21]


A Map of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company from 1885

[20] In order to celebrate the sale, there was a dinner by Erastus Wiman and his associates of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company to the President and Executives of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on December 16, 1885.[19] In 1885, the

State laws were not able to grant the right to run a railroad through the property of the United States, and as a result, construction was hindered by the grounds of the lighthouse department just above Tompkinsville.[10] The company, however, secured an act of congress permitting them to push a tunnel through the hill a short distance back from the shore.[10] The grant for the tunnel was surrounded with restrictions that made slow progress inevitable.[10] Construction of the tunnel began in 1885.[8] The tunnel was five hundred and eighty five feet long, and was protected by massive walls of masonry on the sides, and an arch of brick two feet in thickness overhead.[10] It was wide enough to fit two trains side by side at a time.[10] The cost of the project was $190,000.[10]

On November 16, 1884, Wiman and others incorporated the Saint George Improvement Company in order to handle the land and waterfront purchase from the estate of George Law.[7] The new company was to handle the building of a new terminal for ferries at Saint George.[7] Construction of a branch along the North Shore of Staten Island began in 1884. The SIRT wanted to have its line extend to Saint George, however there was a problem.[10] Over most of the course of the line, it had followed the shore, along the bluffs, where ground had to be made upon to build the road.[10]

The line opened one month earlier than expected, when the first Staten Island Rapid Transit locomotive and train ran over this stretch of track on July 31, 1884.[7][8][10] It contained the managers and officers of the railroad, a few invited guests, and several passengers who had come up on the train as it came on its regular time from Tottenville. The ride took three and a half minutes.[10] A map from 1884 showing the proposed North Shore and South Beach branch had the South Beach branch running to Oakwood Beach.[16][17] The Staten Island Rapid Transit Railroad Company now effected a 99 years' lease of the property of the Staten Island Railway, and under this agreement, the railroad to Tottenville, and all of its appurtenances became on July 31, 1884, a part of the rapid transit system,[10] which resulted in the consolidation of the railroad and ferry terminals in Saint George.[13]


Construction on the line began on March 17, 1884 after a number of legal proceedings.[7] The completion of the extension to Tompkinsville was necessary before the lease which the rapid transit company secured from the old Staten Island Railroad Company can become effective.[14] The contract for the line was given to Smith & Ripley of this city.[14] The work of grading began, and during the spring of 1884 was pushed forward with such energy that by the end of July the road was graded and the track laid between Vanderbilt's Landing and Tompkinsville.[10] The line was expected to be open on September 1, 1884.[14]

While the control of the railroad included control of Vanderbilt's ferry, the North Shore Ferry was leased separately and was operated by John H. Starin.[7] His lease, was set to expire on May 1, 1884.[7] On July 18, 1884, the SIRT was awarded a new lease on the North Shore operation.[7] Mr. Starin continued to fight the lease in the courts for several years.[7]

On April 3, 1883, Wiman gained control of the railroad.[7] At the annual meeting of the Staten Island Railroad Company, Erastus Wiman was elected to the Board of Directors of the Railroad.[7] This was the result of behind-the-scenes discussion, and surprised many of the directors of the railroad.[7] This was the first step that lead to a consolidation of the Staten Island Railroad and the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company.[7] By the end of the month, Wiman resigned from the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company in order to avoid any conflict of interest.[7] On June 27, 1883, a meeting of the directors of both companies formally ratified the merger of the two companies under the leadership of Erastus Wiman, who was named president.[7]

Clarence T. Barrett, Henry P. Judah, and Theodore C. Vermilyen were appointed as commissioners to appraise the value of the land required by the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company to extend the Staten Island Railroad from Vanderbilt's Landing to Tompkinsville.[14] Work on the line was not set to begin until the commissioners made their report.[14] The SIRT filed a map of the proposed route in the office of the clerk of Richmond County, with the line passing through the lawn of Ms. Post on the North Shore of the island.[15] On February 26, 1883, Mr. Franklin Bartlett and Mr. Clifford Bartlett, whom appear for Ms. Post, notified the court that a change of route would be demanded.[15] The new line, after leaving Vanderbilt's Landing, crossed the property formerly occupied by the Seaman's Retreat, but since acquired by the state by the Marine Society, then through the property of the New York Coast Wrecking Company, the lumber yards of C. C. Eddy & Sons, the carriage factory of J. Scott, the Schaeffer grounds, property represented by Coudert brothers, the grounds of George Bechtel, Rubsnin & Horrman, the brewers; S. L. Mulford & Co.'s coal and wood yard, and lands of Samuel Barton and W. Butler Duncan.[14] The only other building upon the line besides Scott's carriage factory is a small barn on the Schaeffer grounds.[14] The cost of the extension was estimated to be $150,000.[14]

Proposed Staten Island Transit route map 1884 Bridgman"Proposed Staten Island Rapid Transit Route"- "Existing Ferry Routes are indicated by blue lines"Issued c. 1884 by E.C. Bridgman NY, Map Publisher. (letter on verso is dated October, 1884)Original late 19th century lithographed map with overprinted color denoting the different tansit lines both as they existed and as proposed. On the verso of the sheet is a full page letter from "The Mercantile Agency" & "R.G. Dun & Co." (see photo) soliciting the sale of investment bonds to expand the transit lines.VG condition overall, couple of minor tiny spots at bottom left, otherwise clean and nice. What appear to be original fold-lines as the item was originally likely sent out in an envelope.Very scarce 19th century promotional cartographic item related to Staten island and New York city.Sheet measures c.11 " H x 8 1/2 " WEngraved area measures c. 9 3/4 " H x 7 1/2 " WZ8283

In order to help advance his transportation plan for Staten Island, Wiman incorporated the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company (SIRT) on March 25, 1880.[7][8] Wiman's vision included a belt system using the old two-mile Staten Island Railroad, which ran between Vanderbilt's Landing and Tompkinsville, and the coordination of all ferries from one terminal, there were previously six to eight of them, located near Saint George.[7][8] Wiman sought to expand the line and approached Robert Garrett, president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, to back the idea of a large rail terminal on the island and centralize the ferry landings, who agreed.[8] The SIRT began to seek legislation to acquire various rights-of-way that would be needed to implement Wiman's plan.[7] This was done when the company, didn't own or control a railroad.[7] If the company gained charter to build connections, it would have had nothing to which to connect.[7] The company then began surveying for the proposed routes.[7] In April 1881, the company acquired 1.5 miles of critical right-of-way directly from George Law.[7] At first when Wiman explained his plan he was able to secure a water front option from him. When the option had to be renewed a second time, Law refused. In order to get Law to side with him, Wiman offered to "canonize" him by naming the place "St. George." Law, humored by this, granted Wiman yet another option.[13] In October 1882, Wiman made an application for a wharf to land passengers from the company's planned new ferry service to Manhattan.[7]

By mid-1880 the Staten Island Railroad Company was barely operational.[7] In May 1880, the Attorney General sued on behalf on New York State to have the company dissolved.[7] The suit said that the Company had become "insolvent in September 1872, to have then surrendered its rights to others, and have failed to exercise those rights."[7] An injunction was obtained and the legal proceedings continued for some time.[7]

In 1867, Wiman arrived in New York to oversee the main office of Dun, Barlow, and Company in New York.[7] Wiman located his residence in a mansion on Staten Island, and quickly became one of Staten Island's most prominent residents.[7] Dubbed the "Duke of Staten Island," he was interested in developing Staten Island, and recognized that in order to so successfully he would need to build a coordinated transportation hub with connections to New York City and New Jersey.[7]

Organization of the SIRT

[12] Garner's boats were purchased by John H. Starin, who payed $5,000 for each of them, and he obtained a franchise, operating them until it fell into the hands of SIRT in 1884.[12] Garner's death put a sudden end to this enterprise.[12] Commodore Garner obtained possession of the ferry against the old company, and ran the "D. R. Martin" on the East Shore, in opposition to the regular line.[12] In 1876, a ferry war broke out on the North Shore of Staten Island.[12] During the Civil War, a boat connected with the Staten Island Railway, the "Southfield" was sold to the government, and was converted into a gunboat. It was destroyed during a bombardment on Mississippi.[12] Many years earlier Commodore Vanderbilt planned a scheme for building a central dock on Staten Island, for freighting and distributing passengers, somewhat of a similar plan that was later worked out by

The Staten Island Railway and ferry line were making a modest profit until the explosion of the "Westfield" at Whitehall Street Terminal on July 30, 1871.[7][8] Mr. L. H. Meyer became the receiver, and took charge of the affairs of the company.[12] The Westfield disaster had a dramatic effect on the finances of both the Staten Island Ferry and the Staten Island Railroad, which owned the ferry company.[7] By July 1872, the railroad and the ferry were in receivership.[7] He sold the company's property on September 7, 1872 to George Law,[7] with the exception of the ferry boat "Westfield", which was purchased by Horace Theall.[9][12] After operating the railroad and the ferry for some time Law and Theall sold out to a company largely of shareholders, Mr. Law threatening to form a company of his own, if they did not come to his terms promptly.[12] Some of the smaller stockholders neglected to join in the purchase.[12] The new organization was named the Staten Island Railway.[12]


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