January 31st, 2008 -
An abandoned rail line traces the edge of Staten Island's northern shore. Before moving inland into a series of abandoned stations, the line passes by decommissioned factories, several shipyards, a homemade BMX stunt track, and travels over sandy beaches littered with debris. In some places, the rails hang unsupported in mid-air. In others, fisherman make use of the old tracks to reach their private fishing platforms. The north shore of Staten Island is still a wild place, where birdwatchers, abandoned boats and heavy industry collide.
The old North Shore Train Line was built in 1883 and abandoned in 1953. The westernmost section of track, serving the Arthur Kill and connecting to New Jersey, was recently renovated and reopened in 2007. According the the Mayors Office, this reactivation "...creates more than 330 permanent jobs and reduces truck traffic on [Staten] Island by 100,000 trips per year." A $360 million plan to reactivate the entire north shore line are being considered by congress. More information on the train line can be found at Forgotten New York. More photos from Staten Island can be seen here on Flickr.