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
New York & South American 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.