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Jay Street Terminal / Jay Street Connecting Railroad

INDUSTRIAL & OFFLINE TERMINAL RAILROADS
OF BROOKLYN, QUEENS, STATEN ISLAND, BRONX & MANHATTAN:


JAY STREET TERMINAL,
JAY STREET CONNECTING RAILROAD
Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn

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updated:
SUNDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2012 - 14:15


update summary:

date: chapter:
1954 photo of #300 added 10/14/2012 Locomotive Photos

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Visitors please take note !

The collection of images on this website, which continues to grow; is due to the unprecedented and selfless contributions of the current owners of photo archives.

These people made their generous contributions to this website in good will, and allowed me to post their images online for the entire railroading community to view and appreciate, in admiration if these Fallen Flag Railroads.

In return, I strongly request that you please respect the ownership copyrights on those said images.

Other than that, please enjoy the history, thanks for taking the time to visit, and don't forget to sign the guestbook on the main page! 

~ Phil

INDEX

Overview

Arbuckle Brothers History in NY

JST History & Property Businesses

Trackage

Float Bridges

Locomotive Overview Locomotive Photos

Locomotive Roster

Marine Equipment

Memorabilia Memoirs

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Overview
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Arbuckle Brothers Coffee Storage Warehouses,
Water Street, Brooklyn - 1935

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   The Jay Street Connecting Railroad and the Jay Street Terminal that it served was located on both sides of and ran under the Manhattan Bridge and it's immediate vicinity. It was the smallest of the Brooklyn Marine-Rail Terminals.  

   The Jay Street Connecting Railroad as we know of it, was actually the consolidation of two separately incorporated railroads: "The Jay Street Connecting Railroad" (incorporated October 9, 1909), and the "Jay Street Extension Railroad" (incorporated January 8, 1916) . The details of both can be viewed in the Public Service Commission Abstract Report of 1917 at right.

   Both of these railroads would be consolidated and re-incorporated on April 3, 1916. Both of these railroads would be owned by the parent corporation "The Jay Street Terminal". 

   The Jay Street Terminal and likewise the railroad was owned by John Arbuckle (b. July 11, 1839 in Alleghany City, PA - d. March 27, 1912) and William A. Jamison.


photo courtesy of Bob Cornett

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The Arbuckle Brothers History in New York

   The history of the Arbuckle Brothers predates their relocation to New York, but for reasons of clarity I have concentrated on their history after their arrival in New York.

  The Arbuckle Brothers: John & Charles [d. 1890]; first organized their company in New York City in 1871. Their primary commodity was coffee, being imported by the Arbuckle Brothers for their name brand: "Ariosa". This brand of coffee would become famous worldwide, and very desired among the cowboys in the Western US.

   The Arbuckle Bros. ran into some tribulations when Henry Havemeyer (of Palmers Dock / East River Terminal / Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal as well as Havemeyer & Elder Sugar Refining history) began raising prices of refined sugar being purchased by the Arbuckle's. One thing led to another including some bad blood, so the Arbuckle's built their own sugar refinery in 1897. To build the refinery, they hired Joseph Stillman (a former employee of the Havemeyer's) who at that time was the leading expert in sugar refining. The refinery opened in 1899, much to the chagrin of Henry Havemeyer. 

   To exact revenge, Havemeyer entered the coffee business and for quite some time, there would be a price war on coffee with both parties lowering prices to outsell the other brand. Each party spent about 12,500,000 dollars fighting the other in legal fees and other incidentals. Eventually both Arbuckle and Havemeyer would wind up selling their coffee for less than cost.

   In 1901, Arbuckle and Havemeyer had a "sit down" and ended their feud and sugar and coffee prices went back up. With that "competition" problem solved, Arbuckle entered the tugboat monopoly on the Hudson River.

   He thought that the going rate of $50 for a barge to be towed from New York City to Albany was too steep, so Arbuckle entered the market. Within a short time the towing charges dropped to $5!  

   In 1905, the Arbuckle firm introduced a new coffee brand named "Yuban".

   In 1909, John Arbuckle & William McCormick incorporate the Jay Street Terminal in Brooklyn, NY to service their coffee refinery and warehouses, as well as receive ship and receive the raw and finished products.

RETURN TO INDEX

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Jay Street Terminal History & Property

   The Jay Street Connecting Railroad / Jay Street Terminal, for all intents did not have vast property holdings, as did Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, New York Dock or Bush Terminal; and the Jay Street Terminal did not have a great many buildings to call their own (keeping in mind that Arbuckles Coffee Warehouses were a separate entity).

   Joe Roborecky submitted the following information located in Google Book Search which was contained in the Federal Reporter, Volume 200, Circuit Courts of Appeals, District Courts and Commerce Court of the United States, January - February 1913:

"...within the said lighterage limits is the Jay Street terminal. This terminal is located at the foot of Bridge street, Brooklyn, on the East River, having a water frontage of 1,200 feet and a depth of 600 feet. Its equipment consists of a large freighthouse, two Baldwin locomotives, three tugboats, two steam lighters, eleven barges, nine carfloats. The capacity of the yard is about 235 cars. The Jay Street terminal is a union freight terminal for all said petitioners, and is designated as a regular public freight terminal of petitioners in their tariffs filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission. It is owed by a copartnership composed of William A. Jamison and John Arbuckle, conducting such freight terminal as a separate business under the name and style of "Jay Street Terminal," under certificate filed with the clerk of New York county in accordance with the law of the state of New York, and is operated as a freight station for petitioners under and pursuant to several contracts between petitioners and the Jay Street Terminal, which contracts are substantially identical in their terms and provisions.

  The initial property holdings consisted of land between Adams Street through Hudson Avenue west of John Street and would consist of three piers, a float bridge, enginehouse and team yard.

   In 1911, the Jay Street Terminal acquired additional property between Catherine Ferry landing (now Main Street) and the Fulton Ferry landing (now Cadman Plaza West) via purchase from the New York Dock Co.

   It was proposed at that time, that the Jay Street Terminal would expand and put in additional float bridges, new piers, etc.

  You can read the pertinent details of this acquisition in the October 14, 1911 article from The New York Times at left and right.

   Most importantly, this acquisition procured for them several warehouses, giving them some storage capability, however limited.

   Joe Roborecky also came across the following multi-page article in the Bulletin of the Merchants Association of New York "Greater New York" dated April 6, 1914, where it states the various terminals located in Brooklyn on that date:

Greater New York - Bulletin of the Merchants Association of New York - April 6, 1914

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   The following is a summary and pier dimensions as listed in "Ports of the United States, 1916", and gives us a better understanding of the new dimensions of the Jay Street Terminal properties: 

 "The Jay Street Terminal is the fourth of the private terminals on the Brooklyn water front. This terminal is operated by a partnership whose members are identified with the Arbuckle Bros. sugar refinery and coffee mills. This terminal, which was opened to the public in 1905, is located on the East River just north of the Brooklyn Bridge and occupies an area of about 200,000 square feet.

  The property of the Jay Street Terminal includes six piers. Three of the piers, with a ground area of 66,788 square feet and a shedded area 60,648 square feet, as well as several warehouses, with a total floor area of 440,800 square feet, were acquired from the New York Dock in 1911. Two of the piers are open, while one has a shed with an area of about 7,000 square feet.

  The Jay Street Terminal is equipped with locomotives, lighters, and other equipment for the interchange of freight with the trunkline railroads. It has a yard capacity of 250 cars and it's equipment includes a gantry crane of 20 tons capacity for handling heavy machinery and other bulk freight."  
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pier location dimensions occupant

3

Brooklyn Bridge 191' x 105'
2

to

355' x 55'
1

Main Street

408 ' x 35'
Adams Street 289' x 30'
Jay Street unknown
Jay Street unknown

Ports of the United States, 1916
Department of Commerce - Bureau of Foreign & Domestic Commerce
Miscellaneous Series - No. 33
Report on Terminal Facilities, Commerce, Port Charges,
and Administration as Sixty-Eight Selected Ports
by Grosvenor M. Jones

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   After John Arbuckle passed away in 1912, his nephew William A. Jamison took control of the Arbuckle Brothers properties, including the Jay Street Terminal. The Arbuckle Brothers Company would expand into several fields including groceries and sundries, as well as the shipping and receiving of commodities through the Terminal.

   In 1917, the Arbuckle Brothers would build an eleven story coffee and sugar warehouse at Jay, Main & Plymouth Streets. This building was constructed with nine railroad sidings inside on the ground floor (similar in function to the Austin Nichols building, as constructed by Havemeyer & Elder at the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal)..


Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo - Jay Street Terminal - 1924
NYPL archives

added 09 Dec 2008

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   In the 1924 Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo above, located and submitted by Joe Roborecky; we can see several interesting details of the yard facilities of the Jay Street Connecting Railroad / Jay Street Terminal. Please keep in mind that in this photo, north is right and east is down.

   Starting towards the top of the photo and along the bulkhead, we can see one of the freighthouses on the pier (perpendicular to the bulkhead) marked for "Arbuckle Bros".

   Between the southernmost diagonal piershed / pier and the pier yard, we see seven covered barges moored in the slip. All appear to have their doors closed, and all appear to have cupolas on the roofs. These cupolas are most unique as most railroad covered barges had flat roofs.  

   In the next slip east (down) we see two steamers. These two steamers are believed to be the Jay Street steam lighters "John Wise" and the "Santos". Another covered barge, this one with its doors open, is moored to the pier below the steamers, and between the steamers and the covered barge, appears to be a short three track interchange carfloat. Blocking this slip at the end of the pier is a loaded station carfloat.

  The next pier north contains another railyard which is partially obscured by the smokestacks. To the right of the topmost large smokestack (which appears to be capped, as well as its northern sibling!) we can make out one side of the float bridge which appears to be a pony plate girder.  

   In the railyard east of the piers, we can see two trucks next to the group of five boxcars on the left and between those five boxcars and the six boxcars on the right. 

   What are not seen, is any discernible locomotives.

   The following table and information, was compiled by Michael Smith of the Rail-Marine Information Group for Tom Flagg's article in Transfer Issue #44 (January - December 2006). It reports the the annual freight cars handled and persons employed at the Jay Street Terminal for the years listed.

year ... cars ... employees
1943 26,983 149
1944 27,923 159
1945 24,545 159
1946 23,218 159
1947 20,852 148
1948 17,050 94
1949 11,958 81
1950 13,493 86
1951 15,236 93
1952 14,493 92
1953 14,363 85
1956 18,445 26
1959 1,540 47

  The Jay Street Terminal, on average, handled thirty three to seventy five freight cars per day over the above listed time period. The Wyer Report of 1944 states that the Jay Street Terminal handled 430,701 tons of freight in 1942, or about 1,180 tons per day. That translates to an average of 29½ forty ton boxcars handled per day (using a standard 40 foot steel boxcar common to that period). But keep in mind open gondolas containing oversize freight and hoppers of coal was also handled by the Jay Street Terminal as well.

  Approximately 10% of this traffic was Less Than Carload Lot (LCL) freight, which confirms prior information that the Jay Street Terminal operation was primarily full carload consignments for the industries served by the railroad.

  Unfortunately on August 5, 1958, with mounting debt and dwindling income, the Jay Street Connecting RR was notified by the trunk line railroads that no more credit would be extended to it. On or about the same day, the Jay Street Connecting RR tug (John A. McCormick?) met with an accident and ruled unfit by the Coast Guard, and thereby would necessitate the rental of another tug, if operations were to continue.

   According to documents, the railroad was operating at a loss for the previous five years, and due to the lack of operating funds (apparently the the Jay Street Terminal had only $400 in liquid assets at this time), it could not repair the McCormick or even rent another tug. Therefore, to prevent an accumulation of freight cars; a decision was made to embargo all freight, incoming and outgoing.

   On August 6, the customers were notified of this embargo which would become effective at midnight, August 8, 1958. At this same time, the railroad notified its employees that their service would not be needed after that date as well.

   The customers of Jay Street Connecting RR took this embargo to mean an actual abandonment (which was in fact what it really was), and therefore filed the injunction. The railroad naturally filed an appeal, citing its cash poor state, and of which it won that appeal.     

   You can read the injunction and appeal here:

Jay Street Terminal Abandonment Filing; 1958 - 1959

   As inferred however by the abandonment papers of 1958, the Jay Street Connecting Railroad / Jay Street Terminal instead of storing freight in warehouses or depots, delivered the cargo straight from carfloat to customer. Therefore, according to this document there was no longer a "public" terminal located at Jay Street Connecting Railroad / Jay Street Terminal and freight was handled by the full carload only. You can view and read these filings in the above Overview chapter.

   So all things being said, the Jay Street Connecting Railroad / Jay Street Terminal had a small freight yard off its single float bridge for assembling strings of cars for outbound car floating, but for the most part in the later years; incoming cars were brought directly to the customers structure located on spurs and sidings.

   This limited method of delivery, and no longer having the capacity for LCL (Less than Car Load) storage, was apparently one of the factors stacked against the survival of the Jay Street Connecting Railroad / Jay Street Terminal. In addition to that, there was no room for the Jay Street Terminal to expand along the waterfront for it to even compete with the other independent rail-marine contract terminals located in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, New York Dock or Bush Terminal.

   Matter of fact, in one of several appeals filed on behalf of the owners of the Jay Street Terminal, it was revealed that the Jay Street Terminal yard property had already been sold to Consolidated Edison (a utility company) for $1,300,000. The contract for this sale was dated July 29, 1958, seven days before the the owners announced their intention to embargo.  Furthermore, the closing of title was contingent upon removal of the float bridge.

   The Jay Street Connecting Railroad and the Jay Street Terminal would continue to operate until June 27, 1959; when it was finally shut down by the owners. It would be the first of the independent "contract" terminals in Brooklyn to close its doors.

   It would not be the last...

RETURN TO INDEX

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Businesses

   Other than the obvious service the Jay Street Connecting provided to the Arbuckle Sugar & Coffee refining establishments & businesses, other firms that utilized rail sidings connected to the railroad were:

firm commodity location dates of service
Kirkman & Sons.. soap Plymouth & Bridge Streets.. < 1916 - 1944 >
Masury & Co. paint works.. Plymouth Street < 1916 >
E. W. Bliss munitions Plymouth & Adams Streets < 1914 >
Robert Gair cardboard & packaging Plymouth, Main, Water Streets 1912 - 1919
Brillo steel wool Plymouth Street < 1944 >
Pittsburgh Plate Glass glass Plymouth Street < 1944 >
Newark Paper paper Plymouth & Adams Streets < 1944 >
Empire Stores storage & warehousing Plymouth Street < 1911 - 1950s
Phoenix Paper paper John & Bridge Streets < 1912 >
Frost Brothers coal John Street between Bridge & Jay Streets < 1912 >
Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co grocers
Quaker Maid
Planters nuts & chocolates
Sperry Gyroscope navigation equipment & searchlights

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   A freight receipt in the Memorabilia Chapter below, shows eight boxes of soap being shipped from Kirkman & Sons to the Taber farm in Davenport Center, NY on April 3, 1944 via the Jay Street Terminal and the New York Central Railroad.

   Another of the businesses utilizing Jay Street Terminal was E. W. Bliss; and they had a very unique place in the history of Jay Street operations and is worth mentioning.

   Eliphalet Williams Bliss (b. April 12, 1836 - d. July 21, 1903) began his business interests in two fields: as a press & die manufacturer, and a significant torpedo / munitions manufacturer doing contract work for the United States Navy. The Bliss Company operated its torpedo manufacturing at the Brooklyn plant at Bush Terminal from the late 1800's until at least 1925. In 1903, when Eliphalet passed away, the Bliss Company consisted of a total of eighty-five blocks in Brooklyn, and employed a total of 13,000 people, between the press & die, precision equipment, foundry and the torpedo manufacturing divisions.
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   Eventually, a portion of the torpedo manufacturing facility relocated
to 135 Plymouth Street, and the block being bordered by Adams, John,
Pearl & Plymouth Streets. This structure became the Chamber Paper
Fiber Building.

   It was this location that the E. W. Bliss manufactured machinery
and ammunition. Considering the close proximity to populated
areas, there appeared to be some aforethought as to the possibility
of the ammunition exploding. 

   The building that housed the munitions, is actually a "building within
a building". The interior building held the gunpowder, so that if it
exploded, it would not explode out onto the street and minimize
damage to surrounding structures.

   The aerial image seen at right, shows the individual inner "gunpowder"
structure and outer "assembly" structure.

   I can only surmise this design was the predecessor to
"containment structures" of today.

   This building and its rail siding can be seen in the Army Corp
of Engineers Port Facilities Map in the "Trackage chapter below.

  Torpedoes were manufactured at the Brooklyn plant, and then transported via the Long Island Railroad to Sag Harbor for testing, where the Bliss Company had a testing site for its torpedoes. Once there, the torpedoes were transferred to Navy vessels that were awaiting supplies or possible return to the war zone.

   It is unconfirmed at this time, but highly likely; that the torpedoes were loaded onto freight cars on the E. W. Bliss rail siding, and those cars subsequently were loaded onto carfloats by the the Jay Street Connecting Railroad (just across the street). The carfloats would be transported to the Long Island Railroad float bridges in Long Island City.

   We also know from builders records that E. W. Bliss purchased a Whitcomb 45DE27A model locomotive, c/n 60111 in January 1942; and we know that E. W. Bliss was equipped with a rail siding connecting to the Jay Street Connecting Railroad. Therefore it is very likely, the torpedoes were shipped by rail, originating at the Jay Street Terminal yard. What is not clear, is whether this E. W. Bliss locomotive was used in Brooklyn, or at the facility in Sag Harbor.

   The E. W. Bliss foundry was located on Water Street. Before his death, E. W. Bliss was also vice-president of the Brooklyn Heights Railroad.

   The following image, taken by the author from onboard the Lehigh Valley tugboat "Cornell", shows the E. W. Bliss structure in July 2008:


E. W. Bliss structure - July 12, 2008 - Brooklyn, NY
(The roll up gate seen between the streetlights and Manhattan Bridge tower foundation
is the original track entrance.)
photo by author

added 30 May 2009

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RETURN TO INDEX


Trackage

   On December 22, 1910, the Public Service Commission issued permission for the construction of the Jay Street Connecting Railroad. December 22, 1910 edition of The New York Times carried the following article:


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   The Jay Street Connecting would  come to have the majority of its trackage on city streets both between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges (now known as DUMBO - Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) as well as north of the Manhattan Bridge (Vinegar Hill).

   The track layout of the Jay Street Connecting can be viewed in the Army Corp of Engineers "Port Facilities" map below. Most of track, with the exception of the yards, was single track through city streets, with spurs into buildings and lofts. At it's peak; the Jay Street Connecting had a capacity of 120 cars* and a single float bridge at the foot of:

  •  Bridge Street                 

  * car capacities are for a standard 40' boxcar.

   The main railyard and facility was located at between Jay & Gold Streets and between John Street and the East River bulkhead. The open piers and float bridge were located at this yard and are indicated by key numbers 293, 294, 295 and 296 in the Army Corp of Engineers Port Facilities Map seen below.

   The following image is from the collection of Tom Flagg. Click on the image below for an enlargement suitable for in depth examination, and a second copy containing notations. Please note: this is a large file and requires some time to open, and use the back arrow on your browser to return you here.


circa 1929
Looking east.
"Underwood" photo
T. Flagg collection

added 12 May 2009

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   In the photo above, we see a slightly unusual track arrangement leading into the Terminal Building. The two left most tracks ascend up a small incline to service the second floor of this warehouse. As unusual as this may be, Bush Terminal had a similar set up for one their buildings as well!

   Another unusual facet of the Jay Street Terminal operation, is in both the 1924 Fairchild Aerial and the 1929 Underwood photos, Jay Street had a habit of blocking their slips with carfloats. Note the carfloats moored perpendicular to the end of pier 3 in both photos, which is essentially entrapping the marine equipment within that slip.

   In 1941, Arbuckle / Jamison sold off their Jay Street Terminal (piers / warehouse) operation to Moses Spatt and Joseph Wohl, who operated under the entity "Famous Realty". In 1945, Famous Realty would acquire all of the stock of the Jay Street Connecting RR, as well as acquire the lease rights to operate the Jay Street Connecting RR trackage from the private owners of the sidings and spurs as well as the main line track from the City of New York.

   The following images, were contained in the 1944 "Wyer Report". This report was commission by the heirs of the Arbuckle estate in an attempt to raise interest for the prospective sale of the properties.


1944 - block 27 siding
On Plymouth Street looking west with Main Street intersection at the end of second boxcar.
Note tower of Brooklyn Bridge in background.

"1944 Wyer Report"
courtesy T. Flagg

added 12 May 2009

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ca. 1944 - front of Pier 4 piershed, Pier 3 & piershed and slips
Looking east - track at bottom leads onto John Street.
Taken from roof of Block 2 (former Arbuckle Sugar Refinery)
"1944 Wyer Report"
courtesy T. Flagg

added 12 May 2009

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1944 - float bridge and yard seen from top of building 19 or 20
Looking east.

"1944 Wyer Report"
courtesy T. Flagg

added 12 May 2009


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   The following image was purchased off eBay in 28 February 2010. It is not dated (auction listing states circa 1920), nor is any photographer or repository cited. So far it is the only image I have located showing the New Dock Street Yard:


New Dock Street Yard - unknown date
Note the "Yuban" sign on roof of warehouse.
authors collection

added 05 March 2010

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New Dock Street Yard - unknown date
from left to right: freight transfer platform, team tracks, 40 ton overhead gantry and Pier 3 "Columbian Line".
A 10 Ton overhead gantry is hidden behind the Pier 3 structure.
The piles of sand at the upper left corner of photo is not believed to be part of the Jay Street Terminal operation
and believed to be the firm of N. Ryan Company.
authors collection

added 05 March 2010

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   The smaller or west railyard was located between New Dock Street and Dock Street on the bulkhead. This yard housed the 40 Ton and 10 Ton capacity overhead gantries for oversize loads as well as a freight platform, and is denoted as key number 308 in the Army Corp of Engineers Port Facilities Map seen immediately below.


Army Corp of Engineers Port Facilities Map - unknown edition

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   The following track plan, which is from the 1944 Wyer Report, is much more detail, and contains many notations pertaining to the occupants of the structures and businesses located along the Jay Street Connecting Railroad trackage.

   Please click on the image below to see a large scale image. Use the back arrow on your browser to return you here.


1944 Wyer Report Track Plan
courtesy of T. Flagg

added 12 May 2009

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   Ironically, most of Jay Street Connecting Railroad's street trackage (girder rail) remains in place, still set in the original cobblestone pavers (Belgian Block), with the exception of the floatbridge team tracks, main yard and engine house. A ConEd power plant and electrical switching yard now occupies this site.

   The capacities of Jay Street Terminal in 1912 were located in the "Report of the Committee on Terminals and Transportation of the New York State Food Investigating Commission" published 1913; are as follows. Please note this table differs from those of the Bush Terminal and New York Dock, in the fact that the Jay Street Terminal did not exist in 1903, therefore those entries are blank.

stations

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freight house
   capacity  

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|.

delivery track
   capacity  

|
|
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storage track
   capacity  

1903

1913

|

1903

1913

|

1903

1913

|

1903

1913

Jay Street Terminal.. Jay Street Terminal |

...

39,000
(sq.ft.)

|

...

...

|

...

235 1

1 = Includes delivery track capacity.

   In 1920, trackage was laid along Plymouth Street and fanned out to seven tracks to service the Arbuckle warehouses, as well as many private customers. As previously stated, freight cars would be brought directly off carfloats and would be spotted (placed) directly at warehouse locations for loading and unloading. The mainstay of the freight traffic would be Arbuckles Coffee, but this would be supplanted with other car load freight to and from the area.

   Trackage to this date, extended just east of Jay Street and ran into the northwest corner of a building.

   By 1929, trackage had been expanded greatly, and the main track of the Jay Street Connecting still ran primarily down Plymouth Street with turnouts for other streets and building accesses.

   However, the end termini of the railroad was now located at Dock Street on the west end and it's main yard between Bridge and Duffield Streets on the bulkhead of the East River on the east end. The tracks, which were primarily "girder rail", (identical to that type of rail used in trolley track which are also set in pavement) were set in cobblestone paved streets, of which many sidings branched off the "mainline" which lead into lofts and warehouses. Many of these warehouses remain today.

   The 1944 Wyer Report states that  the maximum length of freight cars accepted by the Jay Street Connecting Railroad is 52 feet, however freight cars consigned to or for the private siding must not exceed 42 feet 6 inches, due to the sharp radii of the private sidings. Furthermore, freight cars with six axles (six wheels on each truck / three axle trucks) could not be handled.

   Upon the closure of Jay Street Terminal, the main railyard and property was purchased by Consolidated Edison (a/k/a ConEd), the electric utility company in the New York City area and is now a transformer "switching" yard.

   The New Dock Street Yard is now the Empire Fulton Ferry State Park.

RETURN TO INDEX

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Float Bridges

   Early images through 1929 of the Jay Street Terminal, show a pontoon supported wood Howe Truss float bridge in service.

   Upon my receipt a few years ago of a 1958 photo of locomotive #7511 (seen below in locomotive chapter), it clearly showed a pony plate girder, so I naturally concluded this was a "simple" pony plate girder float bridge and listed it as such on this page. Boy, was I wrong!

   Upon reviewing Tom Flagg's article in Transfer #44 in May 2009; I took note that the girders were of different heights in the 1944 Wyer Report photo. At first, I thought, would the cash strapped Jay Street, retrofit two steel plate girders in place of the outer wood trusses on the original Howe Truss bridge? While I guess it could be done, Paul Strubeck, felt they did not.

   Recalling the #7511 image in my collection, I immediately "dug it out" and grabbed a magnifying glass. Low & behold, in spite of the image being a little blurry, there was clearly a steel truss down the center of the bridge, which was slightly taller than the outer plate girders! Note the height and thickness of this center girder (compared to the outer girders below) in the bottom two images under the circa 1929 Howe Truss image.

   This is my first encounter with this type of float bridge, and it is without a doubt quite an unusual design when one is used to either Howe Trusses, or "pure" steel Pony Truss or steel Pony Plate Girder float bridges. This design is a kind of composite of both designs, and for the duration and until this name is corrected, will be called such here.

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   Upon conferring with Joe Roborecky, he feels as I do; that the Jay Street Terminal being such a small operation with limited financial assets, took the cost effective option by retrofitting the original wood Howe Truss float bridge with steel girders and trusses, and retaining the original deck and substructure. Whether this is even feasible from an engineering / construction stand point, I honestly do not know.

   Logistically speaking, it would appear easier to just "swap out" the float bridge than reconstruct the Howe Truss.

   In any event, we can safely conclude that the Jay Street Terminal Howe Truss float bridge was either replaced completely or modified to the composite float bridge discuss above. The question remains on what date did this occur?

 


circa 1929 - Howe Truss
(note three trusses of equal height)

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1944 - Composite Steel Truss & Pony Plate Girder

1958 - Composite Steel Truss & Pony Plate Girder

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Locomotive Overview

   The Jay Street Connecting would operate until June 27, 1959; and during it's existence it would operate an eclectic roster of equipment, with several "one-of-kind" units.

#1 & #2

   At the beginning of operations, Jay Street Terminal owned two Baldwin built steam powered sidetank (sloped style) locomotives of 0-6-0T wheel arrangement.

   One of these locomotives (#1) would be sold to the New York Dock Railway in 1931, renumbered #41 and that is where it would operate for several more years.

   Locomotive #2 however, was not as fortunate and would be stored in 1931 and eventually scrapped in 1939.

.  The diesel locomotives that replaced the steam locomotives of the Jay Street Connecting Railroad operation, had to be the most unique of the Brooklyn contract terminals.

#3

   Locomotive #3 was a center boxcab switcher, and most peculiar. This unit looked more like a shack on a flat car (resembling LIRR float reacher cars) than an actual locomotive.

   This locomotive would be built for Jay Street Connection (weight unknown) in September 1916 by General Electric, but returned to GE in August 1918.

   It would be rebuilt in October 1918 with new traction motors and the weight increased to 50 tons.

   In January 1919, it would be leased to the US Army, then sold back to Jay Street Connecting in April 1919, where is served for many years.

   Allegedly around 1935, it would be stripped of its cab and engine, and used as a "reacher car" for unloading / loading of carfloats. However, photographs below after 1935 and as late as 1948, show this unit with cab. So at this time is believed that the information is incorrect.

.

#4

   A notable fact is that the Jay Street Connecting purchased the first diesel-electric locomotive to be built and sold commercially. This General Electric locomotive would become #4 and had the appearance of a "boxy" steeple cab. Unfortunately, this unit did not meet expectations, and was returned to General Electric within six months, where it was to be used as a experimental unit in developing better control and propulsion systems.

   It was originally believed that this locomotive was a one of a kind unit, but in referencing The Diesel Spotters Guide, Second Edition (1973), by Jerry Pinkepank; reveals that there were actually three of this type locomotive constructed:

"Experimental Diesels of 1918"

"General Electric produced the first known diesel locomotives in the U.S.A. in 1918. Three machines were constructed, of which one was an armored car for the Army, one was for an unknown industrial user in Baltimore, and one for the Jay Street Connecting. From dates on the builders photos it is believed the Jay Street unit was first of the three. As far as is known, the units were not a commercial success and may have been returned  to GE for scrapping shortly after delivery. No positive data on disposition of the units has been obtained however." 

.

   According to this same reference; the prime mover for this locomotive was a 200 hp V8 engine designed by Hermann Lemp, Henri Chatain and W. E. VerPlanck of General Electric. Two cylinders were cast "en bloc" under each of the heads. It appears from a photo of the engine, each of these two cylinders was also "siamesed", meaning that each of the two cylinders shared a common cylinder wall between the cylinders, instead of a hollow cooling passage common of most internal combustion or compression ignition engines.

.  In a strange twist of fate, another of New York's offline terminals would be the first to employ the first commercially successful diesel-electric locomotive: a 60 Ton Ingersoll Rand boxcab which served at the Bronx Terminal of the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

#5

   Locomotive #5 was a typical end cab switcher, with weight stated as 57 tons, and built by American Locomotive and General Electric.

   This locomotive was purchased used and it is an ex-military unit (US Navy - Mare Island #5) and would serve its second owner well to the end of operations.

   According to Diesel Spotters Guide (Second Edition); this locomotive was a direct successor to boxcab design #300 (below), using the same machinery under hood (although cylinder size is now listed as 9½" bore x 10½" stroke).

   A total of seven units of this design were constructed: with two units going to the Lehigh Valley Railroad and 5 going to the US Navy. Of special note, is that the Diesel Spotters Guide states:

"On the early units the cab end was regarded as front"

   This is unusual, as common operating practice on the railroad throughout the U.S. had the locomotive cabs considered the back of the engine.

.

#300

   Locomotive #300 was a boxcab switcher in the purest sense, and would also serve the Jay Street operation until the end. It was a demonstrator model, also built by American Locomotive.

   This locomotive was constructed in May of 1931.

   Specifications refer to this locomotive as a 60 ton 300 hp boxcab. This was the only locomotive of this model built, with the prime mover being recorded as a MacIntosh & Seymour engine with a 9½" bore x 10" stroke. The majority of the cylinder design (with a minor ½" variation), would be incorporated into ALCo's 244 and 251 series engines.  

   

.

#7511

   Locomotive #7511, was a Vulcan 60 Ton centercab switcher, similar in appearance to a General Electric 44 ton unit.

   This locomotive was another ex-military unit (US Army - Fort Hancock, NJ)

   Photographs taken in 1959 after Jay Street Terminal ceased operations, show locomotives #5 and 300 enroute to, and at Patapsco Scrap in Maryland; yet #7511 is nowhere to be seen. However a photo of #7511 below, shows it in operation as late as July 1958.

   It was learned that this locomotive would be sold to Houdaille Construction Materials (chimney rock quarry) located in Martinsville, NJ. It appears  #7511 was scrapped on their property after several years of use.

RETURN TO INDEX

.


Locomotive Photos


#3 - February 26, 1948 (date is suspect)
(note wood bumper? plow?)
R. F. Schneider photo
courtesy of T. Flagg

added 12 May 2009

.

.


#3 - unknown date
unknown photographer

authors collection

.

.


#3 - March 30, 1936 - Jay Street Yard
(note: some windows removed - possibly out of service)
G. Votava photo
D. Keller archives

authors collection

.

.


#3 - ca. 1937
In process of being stripped: note three air tanks to right of locomotive. These came off #3. 
unknown photographer
authors collection

added 08 February 2011

.

.


#4
GE builders photo
December 1972 issue of Trains

.

.


#5 - August 1, 1957
H. Fagerberg photo
authors collection

.

.


#5 - after 5/1959
Patapsco Scrap - Baltimore, MD
SMU - E. L. Degolyer Library archives
author's collection

.

.


#300 - American Locomotive Company Builders Photo - 1931

(while originally an ALCo demonstra
tor unit,
this photo was believed to have been taken by ALCo when Jay Street purchased the locomotive
and it was painted in Jay Street livery)

added 13 February 2009

.

.


#300 - March 30, 1936 - Jay Street Yard
(note: loco is black!)
G. Votava photo
D. Keller archives

authors collection

.

.


#300 - unknown date
unknown photographer

.

.


#300 - unknown date
unknown photographer
NE Rails archives

added 15 January 2009

.

.


#5 & #300 - April 29, 1959
- Central RR of NJ Yard -  Jersey City, NJ
(enroute to Patapsco Scrap)

unknown photographer
authors collection
added 13 October 2012

.

.


1959 - Central RR of NJ Yard -  Jersey City, NJ
(enroute to Patapsco Scrap)
G. Landau photo
authors collection

.

.


#300 - after 5/1959
Patapsco Scrap - Baltimore, MD
SMU - E. L. Degolyer Library archives
author's collection

.

.


#7511 - August 24, 1948
unknown photographer
G. Colorra archives
authors collection

added 08 March 2010

.

.


#7511 - unknown date
unknown photographer
G. Colorra archives
authors collection

added 08 March 2010

.

.


#7511 - September 9, 1949 - Jay Street Yard
H. Fagerberg photo
authors collection

.

.


#7511 - unknown date - Jay Street Yard
S. Reich photo
authors collection

.

.


#7511 - unknown date - Jay Street Yard
unknown photographer
authors collection

added 08 February 2011

.

.


#7511 - November 6, 1956 - Jay Street Yard
S. Bramson photo
authors collection

added 30 March 2011

.

.


#7511 - July 10, 1958 - Jay Street Yard
Note composite type (plate girder / truss) float bridge to right of loco.
unknown photographer
Railroad Avenue Enterprises archives
authors collection

.

.

Jay Street Connecting Railroad Locomotive Roster

number / name
builder

c/n
build
date

gauge
wheel
arrangement
or model
wheel 
dia

cylinders

acquired

disposition

notes
ref
#1 Baldwin 27255 1/1906 std. 0-6-0T 46" 19" x 24" new sold to NYD 1931 -
became #41
[2]
#2 Baldwin 30480 3/1907 std. 0-6-0T 46" 19" x 24" new   stored 1931
scrapped 1939
[2]
#3 GE 3765 1913 std. B-B     acquired
1916
cab & motor removed
used as float reach car ca. 1935
centercab
175 hp 45T

demonstrator
see [a] below
[21]
#4 GE 6206 9/1918 std. B-B     9/1918
4/1919
returned 4/1919 steeplecab
demonstrator

see [b] below
[21]
#5 ALCo - GE 68698 6/1935 std. B-B     acquired
12/1955
Patapsco Scrap
Baltimore, MD 5/1959
HH-300, 57 Ton
ex-USN #5
Mare Island, CA
ex-NAD #5 Hingham, MA
[c]
[1]
[7]
#300 ALCo 68488 5/1931 std. B-B 38"   acquired
1948
Patapsco Scrap
Baltimore, MD 5/1959
300hp
demonstrator
boxcab
[1]
#7511 Vulcan 4394 2/1944 std.

B-B

    acquired 
1955
to: Birmingham Rail & Locomotive (Dealer)
Birmingham, AL;
sold to: Houdaille Construction Materials #7511 (chimney rock quarry); Martinsville NJ;
centercab 60T
ex-US Army
Fort Hancock, NJ
[8]

Locomotive Footnotes:
[a] Built 9/1916 Jay Street Connecting #3.
Returned 8/1918 rebuilt with four HM-820A motors, and weight increased to 50 tons.
Leased 10/1918 - 1/1919 US Army Ordnance Dept at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD
Sold   4/1919 Jay Street Connecting (again) retired
Rebuilt < 1935 cab stripped and frame (w/ traction motors) used as a reach car.
.
[b] Built as East Erie Commercial  (GE Co. Erie, PA) #1006, may have been built many months earlier than recorded, no supporting documentation remains. Built with one GM16-C6 engine and four 205D motors. Used as demonstator.
Shipped 10/1918 Jay Street Connecting #4
Returned 4/1919 Stored until 1922
Rebuild 1922 Repowered with a Sterling "Dolphin" six cylinder gasoline engine and sent to East Erie Commercial RR in 9/1922 as #2
Rebuild 8/1934 Partially dismantled. Frame trucks w/ original motors and original cab rebuild with new hoods and two 165 hp Waukesha-Hessellman spark ignition oil engines. .............................................
Completed 4/1936 assigned EECRR #11 when completed. New weight 58 tons.
Retired & Scrapped 8/1940
.
[c] model:
length:
height:
width:
weight:
engine:
hp:
max rpm:
min rpm:
gear ratio:
traction motor:
starting tractive effort:
running tractive effort:
airbrakes:
min turn radius:
trucks:
journals:
fuel cap'y:
oil cap'y:
water cap'y:
sand:
HH300 (High Hood 300 hp)
32' 8"
13' 9.5"
9' 6"
114,000 lbs
McIntosh & Seymour 330 6L
300
700
250
68:16
General Electric HM 838 (x4)
36,000 lbs.
7,900 lbs. at 10 mph
Westinghouse 14EL
57'
Blunt type B, rigid suspension
5" x 9" plain bearing
635 gals
80 gals
50 gals
27 cubic ft.

RETURN TO INDEX

.


.

Marine Equipment

   The Jay Street Connecting would also operate various steam powered lighters and tugboats for the movement of carfloats. Of those tugboats, the "John A. McCormick" was one of the largest tugboats to have seen service in New York Harbor.


"William A. Jamison" - unknown date
courtesy of "Captain Joe" Lemerise

added 11 December 2010

.

.


"John A. McCormick"  - June 1954 - Brooklyn, NY
(original slide was severely color shifted - I tried my best to restore)
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

.

.


"John A. McCormick"  - August 1956
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

.

.


"John A. McCormick" - October 1956 - Jersey City, NJ
(note carfloat signboard)
courtesy Steamship Historical Society (C. Luffbarry collection)
via T. Flagg

added 12 May 2009

.

.


"John A. McCormick" - November 6, 1956
with Jay Street Connecting Carfloat #15
This photo was last in a three photo sequence set. See Carfloat 15 below.
S. Bramson photo
authors collection
added 30 March 2011

.

.


Jay Street Connecting Carfloat #15 - November 6, 1956
This photo is first in a three photo sequence set.
S. Bramson photo
authors collection
added 30 March 2011

.

.


Jay Street Connecting Carfloat #15 - November 6, 1956
This photo is second in a three photo sequence set.
S. Bramson photo
authors collection
added 30 March 2011

.

.


Jay Street Connecting Carfloat #15 - 1956
unknown photographer
authors collection
added 06 March 2012

.

.

   They also operated another early piece of unusual marine equipment, which was their floating coal transfer:


Floating Coal Transfer - Arbuckle Brothers
"Arbuckle Bros. Sugar Refining.
Boom derrick in tower lifts coal to suspended adjustable chute, discharging in storage pile on shore."

unknown photographer
from Water Terminal & Transfer Facilities, US ACoE - 1913

.

.

.

 

.
Jay Street Connecting Tugboat, Steam Lighter, & Carfloat Roster
(please note: vessels are in order of acquisition)
.

date built
(service dates)

builder /
location

official
number/
hull number


length

beam

draft


hp

gross
tonnage

net
tonnage

former owner
"vessel name"


power


notes

"John Wise"

1895
(1895 -  ? )

Essex, MA 77176 124' 28' 10.9'  - 251 171 steam steam lighter
[a]
.
disposition:
unknown

.

"Santos"

1902
(1902 -  ? )

Shooters Island, SI, NY

105' 27' 11'  - 216 147 steam steam lighter
[b]
.
disposition:
unknown

.

"John Arbuckle"

04 January 1906
(1906 -  ? )

R. Palmer
Noank, CT
202736 95' 25' 12' 700 207 114 steam [c]
.
disposition:
unknown

.

"William V. R. Smith"

04 January 1906
(1906 -  ? )

R. Palmer
Noank, CT
95' 25' 12' 700 207 114 steam [d]
.
disposition:
unknown

.

.
"William A. Jamison"

July 1910
(1910 -  ? )

Noank, CT   207468 96'  27.2'  13.6'  1000  229  116    steam [e]
majors repairs to hull 1935, 1939
.
disposition:
retired 1960

.

.
"John A. McCormick"

1900
( ca 1930  - 1958 )

Neafie & Levy
Philadelphia, PA
121152
/ 938 
121.4 26.5 14.7 790 357 174  "Fred E. Richards" steam acquired
1930's?
from Great Lakes
Dredge
notes: This vessel has a colorful history.
It was originally built for sea going service out of Rockport, ME; for Rockland - Rockport Lime Co.
This is where the name Fred E. Richards is noted [Johnsons Steam Vessels, 1920] [Tugboat Enthusiasts Society - digital gazette - 1900]

During World War I it served it's country, and apparently was sent overseas for port duty (location unknown).
[Steamboat Bill of Facts, 1940 / Johnsons MVUS, QM Vessels USA]
After the war, it then returned to the US, and was sold on unknown date to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. and home ported in Chicago, IL; from about 1920 to 1930. It was at this time of purchase that the vessel is believed to have been renamed John A. McCormick, who was chairman of the board of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.

Circa 1930, the vessel was then sold to Arbuckle Brothers for use at Jay Street Connecting Railroad. As it is understood from Stojiny McCoy, great nephew to John A. McCormick, there is no relation to William McCormick of Jay Stereet Terminal. Therefore it is believed at this time that Jay Street merely kept the  John A. McCormick name that was issued by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.

Sometime around 1958, this vessel was involved in a collision in New York Harbor and was rendered out of service. The cost of repairs exceeded the liquid assets of Jay Street Connecting, and another tug boat would have had to be rented. Jay Street Connecting filed for abandonment instead. (see 1958 abandonment filing above)

disposition: sold and repowered as diesel (tugboat?), renamed East Coast. In service 1965 (Telescope, GLMI 1/1967 issue)According to research by P. F. Strubeck, the East Coast was converted to a trawler in 1960 and off records in 1972.


.

Carfloat

1930

New York Shipbuilding
Camden, NJ
388 keel laid
16 June 1930
launched
19 August 1930
delivered
24 August
1930
.
disposition:
retired 1960

Tugboat Footnotes:

The following specifications are taken from Johnson's Steam Vessels, 1920

[a]  =   hull: wood

engine specs:

type: compound
cylinders: 12" & 22"
stroke: 14"
i.h.p: 425

boiler specs:

number: 2
type: water tube
diameter:
length:
working pressure:

[b] =   hull: wood

engine specs:

type: simple
cylinders: 20"
stroke: 21"
i.h.p: 150

boiler specs:

number: 2
type: leg
diameter:
length:
working pressure:

[c] =   hull: wood

engine specs:

type: compound
cylinders: 20" & 40"
stroke: 28"
i.h.p: 700

boiler specs:

number: 1
type: single ended scotch
diameter: 12'
length: 15'
working pressure: 150 p.s.i.

[d] =   hull: wood

engine specs:

type: compound
cylinders: 20" & 40"
stroke: 28"
i.h.p: 700

boiler specs:

number: 1
type: single ended scotch
diameter: 12'
length: 15'
working pressure: 150 p.s.i.

[e] =   hull: wood

engine specs:

type: compound
cylinders: 18" & 40"
stroke: 28"
i.h.p: 1000

boiler specs:

number: 1
type: single ended scotch
diameter: 15'
length: 12'
working pressure: 180 p.s.i.

RETURN TO INDEX


Memorabilia

Railway Age, Vol. 91, No. 18, two page advertisement - October 31, 1931
authors collection
added 22 Jan 2009

.

.


Arrival Notice - 1944
authors collection
added 22 Jan 2009

.

.

RETURN TO INDEX


Memoirs

From  "Captain Joe" Lemerise:

Albert Schmidt was my grandfather and night captain of the tug (William A. Jamison). Before being scuttled in the early 1950's (she had no scrap value), the William A. Jamison was the oldest operating tug in the New York City harbor.

She had a wooden hull and had a coal fired steam engine. The engine was a two stage (double expansion) reciprocating steam engine. When originally built the tug had no electric power. Lights were either oil or alcohol fired. I have one of the original alcohol burning binnacle lamps:

An electric generator was added at a later date. I recall my grandfather proudly showing the generator to me when I was about 8 or 10 years of age. The call sign on her steam whistle was two long blasts, two short blasts and one long blast. I have no idea of the significance of this code.

Rudder control was via chains from the wheel in the wheelhouse to the rudder stock. Interestingly and unusual was the fact that to turn the vessel to port you tuned the wheel to starboard and visa versa. The engine order telegraph consisted of a handle and cable mounted of the forward bulkhead in the wheelhouse. Pulling the handle with the appropriate code (number of pulls) would ring a bell in the engine room.

I don't know if this information is useful to your web but I thought you'd find it interesting.

Capt. Joe


"William A. Jamison" Binnacle Lamp
collection of Captain Joe Lemerise

added 11 December 2010

.

.

RETURN TO INDEX


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