|Bay Ridge Branch|
|System||Long Island Rail Road|
|Locale||Brooklyn and Queens, New York City|
|Termini||65th Street Yard|
|Stations||17 (all former)|
|Owner||Long Island Rail Road|
|Operator(s)||New York and Atlantic Railway|
|Passenger service ended||1924|
|Number of tracks||1–2|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The Bay Ridge Branch is a rail line owned by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and operated by the New York and Atlantic Railway in New York City. It is the longest freight-only line of the LIRR, connecting the Montauk Branch and CSX Transportation's Fremont Secondary (to the Hell Gate Bridge) at Glendale, Queens with the Upper New York Bay at Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
An extension from New Utrecht east and northeast to New Lots opened in 1877, and at the same time the New York and Manhattan Beach Railway opened the line from New Lots north to East New York. An extension north from East New York to Cooper Avenue (and then northwest to Greenpoint, later the Evergreen Branch) opened in 1878, and the Long Island City and Manhattan Beach Railroad (incorporated February 24, 1883, merged with the New York and Manhattan Beach and New York, Bay Ridge and Jamaica into the New York, Brooklyn and Manhattan Beach Railway August 27, 1885) built from Cooper Avenue north to the Montauk Branch at Glendale in 1883.
Passenger service on the line ended in 1924. The entire line was electrified, starting on July 8, 1927, for New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad freight trains coming off the New York Connecting Railroad (Hell Gate Bridge). Electric operation ended on December 31, 1968.
A proposed Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel from New Jersey to Brooklyn would use the Bay Ridge Branch to reach the rest of Long Island, with the line upgraded to double-stack clearances.
Another proposal would have the New York City Subway use the tracks to link Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx via the Hell Gate Bridge. In 1996 the Regional Plan Association conducted a study to determine the feasibility of the rail link. Based on Paris's RER commuter rail system, the Triboro RX proposal would create a loop around the city. It was first proposed by the Regional Plan Association in 1996. The proposed line, discussion of which was revived in 2012, would connect to all non-shuttle subway services. Obstacles for the proposal include the proposed Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel, the lack of electrification on the line, and the single-tracking in some parts of the line. Additionally, there is debate on where the line's northern terminus would be: some, including MoveNY, call for it to end at Hunts Point, while others suggest it end at Yankee Stadium.
In mid-October 2019, the MTA announced that it would study the feasibility of restoring passenger service on the Bay Ridge Branch, a portion of the proposed Triboro RX route.
The following passenger stations once existed on the line:
|Station||Date opened||Date closed||Notes|
|Bay Ridge||1893||May 14, 1924||Connection to 65th Street Yard|
|Third Avenue||June 2, 1883||May 14, 1924|
|Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad Crossing||June 2, 1883||1894||Crossing with the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad|
|Parkville||June 2, 1883||1884||Connection to the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad|
|Manhattan Beach Junction||1884||1915||Former junction with the Manhattan Beach Branch|
|Kings County Central Junction||June 29, 1878||late 1878|
|Vanderveer Park||1878||May 14, 1924||Originally Flatlands|
|Kouwenhoven||July 18, 1877||May 14, 1924|
|Rugby||1888||May 14, 1924||Originally Ford's Corners|
|New Lots Road||July 18, 1877||1897|
|East New York||July 18, 1877||May 14, 1924||Junction with Atlantic Branch|
Originally Manhattan Crossing
|Bushwick Avenue||July 18, 1877||1897||Originally Central Avenue|
|Cooper Avenue Junction||May 16, 1878||May 1882||Junction with Evergreen Branch|
|Cypress Avenue||1888||May 14, 1924||Originally Dummy Crossing, then Ridgewood|
|Myrtle Avenue||May 16, 1878||1924|
|Bushwick Junction||June 2, 1883||1894||Junction with Lower Montauk Branch|
Originally Fresh Pond
Continues as New York Connecting Railroad