New York Dock Railway - Train Tracks of the Atlantic Basin

The New York Dock Company Railway moved cargo to and from ships, local warehouses and factories.   It also ran a carfloat - a solution to getting trains from the mainland to the island of Brooklyn. Barges would float freight cars from terminals in New Jersey and the Bronx to train yard at Atlantic Basin.  The tracks around Atlantic Basin, called Atlantic Terminal were not otherwise connected to a longer rail line. 

 The railroad had previously been run by the Brooklyn Wharf & Warehouse Company, which went bankrupt in 1901 and was purchased by The New York Dock Company.  

The New York Dock Company, itself, was purchased by tobacco company Dunhill International in 1959.  Claiming unprofitability The New York Dock abandoned the rails in 1983.  New York Cross Harbor took over the operation and ran the rails and float for just shy of a decade, before the final trainload in 1992. New York City tore up the train tracks in 1996 and the float bridge was removed to make way for the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in 2006.

In 1920 the New York, New Jersey Port and Harbor Development Commission described Atlantic Terminal as:

located at the foot of King Street, Brooklyn. It is served by one float bridge and a marginal railroad, and offers track delivery for carload freight, warehouses for general merchandise and carload freight service for the following steamship lines docking at its piers:

Atlantic & Pacific Steamship Company
Barbor & Company’s Lines
Union Clan Line
Houston Line
New York & South American Line
Trinidad Line
Clyde West India Line
United States & Australasian Line
New York & Porto Rico Steamship Company

It also offers private siding services to various industries.  It is served by car floats operated by the New York Dock Company.

The New York Dock company was primarily in the storage business.  Most of what it stored was food and the majority of that was coffee beans. In 1919, the main non-food items coming to the Red Hook Stores were still agricultural: cotton and tobacco.

Images

Looking Southeast inside Atlantic Basin. 7/19/1978<br /><br />
courtesy of Ben W. Schaeffer

Looking Southeast inside Atlantic Basin. 7/19/1978
courtesy of Ben W. Schaeffer

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Looking Southeast inside Atlantic Basin. 7/19/1978<br /><br />
Courtesy of Ben W. Schaeffer

Looking Southeast inside Atlantic Basin. 7/19/1978
Courtesy of Ben W. Schaeffer

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Looking East down Clinton Wharf, taken from the cab of New York Dock Railway GE 44Ton locomotive.   Heading for A&amp;S Salt.  8/21/1978<br /><br />
Courtesy of Benjamin W.Schaeffer <br /><br />

Looking East down Clinton Wharf, taken from the cab of New York Dock Railway GE 44Ton locomotive. Heading for A&S Salt. 8/21/1978
Courtesy of Benjamin W.Schaeffer

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An overview of Atlantic Terminal Yard, looking Northeast.  Locomotive is sitting at the yard office.  8/15/1978<br /><br />
Courtesy of Benjamin W.Schaeffer <br /><br />

An overview of Atlantic Terminal Yard, looking Northeast. Locomotive is sitting at the yard office. 8/15/1978
Courtesy of Benjamin W.Schaeffer

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Looking North at the Float Bridge.  8/21/1978<br /><br />
Courtesy of Benjamin W.Schaeffer

Looking North at the Float Bridge. 8/21/1978
Courtesy of Benjamin W.Schaeffer

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Locomotive 51 switching the A&amp;S Salt siding, 8/21/1978.  This is right outside the gate, the rail is still in the street.  <br /><br />
Courtesy of Benjamin W. Schaeffer

Locomotive 51 switching the A&S Salt siding, 8/21/1978. This is right outside the gate, the rail is still in the street.
Courtesy of Benjamin W. Schaeffer

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Related Tour

Sources:

  • Much of the information for this story comes from the very comprehensive site Trainweb: http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/indloco/nyd.html#Atlantic.  More good information and photographs can be found there.

    Ben W. Schaeffer provided many of the historic images.  Thanks also to Paul Strubek for his help.

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