MTA announces study of freight line for service connecting Bay Ridge, Astoria

Kimberly Dole
January 23, 2020 - 11:03 am
Bay Ridge map

MTA

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The MTA announced Wednesday that they have contracted an engineering firm to study potential train service connections or transfers along the freight line that connects Bay Ridge and Astoria.

The $1.3 million contract will allow AECOM to work with subcontractor WSP to determine if initiating a passenger service along the freight-only line is feasible and determine the costs of providing subway, bus service or commuter or light rail service on those tracks, the MTA says. 

New service could potentially allow for connections or transfers to 19 intersecting subway lines as well as LIRR trains.

The line, which has been around for decades is approximately 16 miles long. It runs from the New York Harbor waterfront to Astoria via Midwood, East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick, Glendale, Middle Village and Elmhurst.

"This project is hugely exciting, said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber in a statement. "Partly because it is based on the concept of squeezing more out of our already existing infrastructure so we don’t always have to build new subway lines from scratch."

“Putting mass transit on the Bay Ridge Branch could allow the MTA to serve more neighborhoods and provide better connections to thousands of people throughout Brooklyn and Queens – all while also creating opportunities for increasing environmentally-friendly freight rail in years to come," Lieber adds.

The southern part of the track is currently used for freight trains operated by the New York & Atlantic Railway and is owned by the Long Island Rail Road.

The northern part is owned by CSX Transportation.