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New Staten Island Ferryboat to enter service/Ferry history
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 16471
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the retirement of the "KENNEDY", no longer will younger people be able to ride one one of the old boats that once carried vehicles as well as passengers.

When the "KENNEDY" debuted in 1965, there were still two classes of steam ferries in operation, the "MERRELL" class and the "MISS NEW YORK" class.

Old Looks and MACKS were still part of the "Tee-Yay" fleet, and prewar IRT, BMT, and IND subway cars could still be ridden.

In 1965, the old H&M "Black" car were replaced by the new "PA"-series, and The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium.

The veteran ME-1's were still running on the SIRT, and B&O freights still traveled on the same rails.

The graceful sidewheeler Dayliner "ALEXANDER HAMILTON" was also still plying the Hudson.

When sailing to and from Staten Island, a ferry rider could still be treated to the mournful, timeless sounds of stream whistles.

It's all so long ago, now.....I'm thankful I have so many great memories of those long-ago days..... Very Happy

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ferry history (on this day in NY Harbor, 1955)......

The DL&W RR closed down ferry service between Hoboken and Christopher St. in Manhattan.

By the time of abandonment, the crossing was down to only one boat running on a half-hour schedule (this boat was the single-deck "BUFFALO"; her running mate, "HOBOKEN", was then being used as a spare boat)

These two ferries (the newest the DL&W ever purchased, in 1922) were also the only boats operated by the DL&W that were not equipped with upper-deck passenger cabins.....

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 16471
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This atmospheric scene at Hoboken was taken in 1955, the same year that ferry service to Christopher St. was closed down:

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?142365

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)

Here we see the majestic "SCRANTON", which was built prior to the massive blaze in 1905 that destroyed the original wooden Hoboken terminal.

The tall-stacked "SCRANTON" and her sisters ran until 1967; in late summer, the "SCRANTON", "BINGHAMTON", and "POCONO" were removed from active service, and sat idle in the Hoboken slips until they were disposed of,

The remaining boats, "ELMIRA" and "LACKAWANNA" (the latter was converted to diesel in 1949) operated the Barclay St. line together until all ferry service ended that November.

The "SCRANTON" (which had been sold to become a floating restaurant) made local newspaper headlines when, on New Year's Day, 1968, during a storm, the venerable old ferry broke loose from her Hoboken moorings and drifted out into the Hudson where she quickly sank.

Newspaper photos showed her with only one pilothouse and her stack above the murky waters of the Hudson.

I clipped out these news photos and stories and kept them for many years afterwards.

She was soon partially dismantled on the spot, and her remains towned to Jersey City, where scrapping operations took place.

A sad, sad end indeed for a graceful, proud old ferry, one that your humble rider rode a number of times during his now long-lost childhood days...... Crying or Very sad

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a beautiful and nostalgic color photo of the DL&W's "BINGHAMTON", several years prior to the E-L merger in 1960:

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?142372

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)

When the E-L began operations, the only change to the boats was the replacement of the old DL&W insignias on the stacks with the new E-L herald.

For many years after retirement, this graceful old ferryboat was used as a popular floating restaurant, docked at Edgewater, NJ.

Sadly, she had just been closed and abandoned by her owners prior to Superstorm Sandy, and she suffered much serious damage (there are many haunting photos online of Sandy's destruction)

The old ferry continued to collapse and decay further until, despite being on the State and National rgister of historic places, she was dismantled on location.

So serious was her condition, it would have proved impossible to move her to another location for scrapping.

I have heard, however, that a few artifacts from this historic vessel were saved and were to be preserved.

This was another ferry I knew well growing up in the 1960's......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the ERIE and the DL&W began co-ordinating train movements out of the DL&W's Hoboken terminal in the later 1950's, two ERIE ferryboats were purchased by the DL&W to handle the additional crowds at Hoboken.

The "YOUNGSTOWN" became the "CHATHAM", while the "MEADVILLE" became the "MAPLEWOOD".

Both ferries had their bows modified so that they could be accomodated by the loading aprons at Hoboken and Barclay St.

There was, however, no provisions for upper-deck loading at the ERIE's old Pavonia terminal (or at Chambers St.), so now, for the very first time, the ex-ERIE boats could load and unload from the upper decks (until 1942, ERIE boats COULD load from the upper deck at W. 23rd St.)

The "CHATHAM" was involved in a serious collision with the SEATRAIN GEORGIA while heading to Barclay St., on an AM run.

Thankfully, there was no loss of life, but the ferry suffered severe damage and was never returned to service.

She was eventually scrapped on Staten Island in 1963.

The "MAPLEWOOD", on the other hand, remained in rush-hour service on the Barclay St. run until 1965, when she was retired.........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2022 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a classic image from the 1950's showing the "YOUNGSTOWN" heading eastwards towards Chambers St. for another rush hour load of Jersey City-bound ERIE commuters and vehicles (look closely in the background, and you'll see another ERIE boat loading at Chambers St.

All of the Manhattan piers seen here have long since vanished; even the skyline itself has drastically changed, almost beyond recognition.

This ferry, as I have already mentioned, later operated for the DL&W, between Hoboken and Barclay St.; her career was sadly cut short after a collision with "SEATRAIN GEORGIA"in 1960.......

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?142353

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2022 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a gloomy day in 1955, we see the "TUEXEDO" about to enter one of the slips at Chambers St.

As can be seen here, there were no upper deck loading aprons at this terminal (or, at Pavonia Avenue)

Loading/unloading times were indeed much greater than ferry operations at Hoboken, where the ferryboats loaded and unloaded passengers via the upper decks........

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?142332

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2022 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, the PRR was the only railroad which operated a fleet of twin-stacked ferryboats; all other North (Hudson) River ferries were single-stacked.

This was just the opposite on the Staten Island Ferry; the boats were all twin-stack up to the "MISS NEW YORK" class of the late 1930's (actually, these streamlined boats DID have TWO stacks, but were housed in a single low funnel to further accentuate the streamlined design of these boats.

The last of the Staten Island boats to have twin stacks were the "DONGAN HILLS" class; these were the very last twin-stack SI ferries in service, and were retired in 1965, when the "KENNEDY"-class diesels arrived.......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In discussing the SI boats, I cannot help but to be reminded of the last revenue services assigned to the ex-69th St. boats, "THE TIDES" and "THE NARROWS".

In 1965, both of these boats were chartered by the CNJ to operate on the Jersey City-Liberty St. crossing; these two boats replaced most of the older CNJ steam ferries, which had recently been withdrawn from service.

As reliable and solid-working as these two boats were on thier former crossing, they were ill-suited for operation of the CNJ's Liberty St. line.

These boats carried primarily vehicles; there was a small cabin on the upper deck for passengers, but none on the main (car) deck.

Also, unlike the older CNJ boats, they were unable to load/unload from the upper deck, which greatly increased dwell times at the terminals.

CNJ ferry crews were not enamored to these vessels, either; none of the men had any experience with working on diesel boats.

Responding to loud and vocal complaints from CNJ commuters, the railroad installed "bare bones" passenger cabins on port and starboard sides, thus reducing the number of vehicular lanes from four to two.

The old steam-powered "ELIZABETH" was (along with "spare" boat "WILKES-BARRE") the only boat that could still load/unload from the upper deck.

After the CNJ closed down the Liberty St. ferry and Jersey City rail passenger operations in April, 1967, the two former Brooklyn boats found themselves out of work yet again, but were soon purchased by the US Coat Guard..........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Staten Island ferries drydocked in Jersey City and Hoboken.......

There have been instances where SI boats might find themselves drydocked in either Hoboken and Jersey City.

The long-defunct "Roderman's Yard" (on the Morris Canal) at various times drydocked SI vessels; one of these ferryboats was the "AMERICAN LEGION" (II).

In the early 1980's, I still clearly recall the then-new "BARBERI" in drydock at the long-since vanished "BETHLEHEM SHIPYARDS", at the foot of 14th St. in Hoboken (for a few weeks, I saw this unusual and interesting sight from the windows of an ex-TNJ Fishbowl on the #21, to and from the Hoboken Terminal, on my morning and late afternoon commutes.

The CNJ ferries (and tugs) were drydocked/serviced at their own marine yard, near the Statue of Liberty, in Jersey City

E-L's ferryboats and tugs were drydocked/serviced at the old DL&W Brighton marine yard (Staten Island)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2022 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until the early 1900's, the Staten Island Ferry (then operated by the SIRT) was "connected" with the CNJ/B&O.

The B&O, which then terminated at the CNJ's majestic steepled 1889-terminal in Jersey City (and would until 1958) wanted a direct connection to the cluster of El lines that then terminated at South Ferry, without exposure to the elements.

By the 1890's, the "Royal Blue Ferry" operated between Jersey City and the SI slips at Whitehall St.

Tragically, in 1901, the CNJ's "MAUCH CHUNK", just entering the east slip at Whitehall St., rammed and sank the outbound SI boat, "NORTHFIELD".

The "NORTHFIELD", a veteran SI sidewheeler, sank almost at once, and was damaged beyond repair.

Though, tragically, five people lost thier lives (aboard the "NORTHFIELD", the loss of life could have been far greater, as both boats were heavily loaded.

The "Royal Blue Ferry" operated until 1905; by this time, the SI boats were now operated by the City, instead of the SIRT........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an interesting page on the historic Perth Amboy ferry slip, now a landmark:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perth_Amboy_Ferry_Slip

The ferryboats that connected with the electric SIRT trains at Tottenville until late 1963 had been operated by the SIRT until 1948 (using ancient walking-beam sidewheelers) and open-deck diesels until 1963 ("SUNRISE FERRIES")

Sadly, the section of the ferry house which housed the machinery that raised and lowered the loading apron, was torn down many years ago (the loading apron itself also has vanished)

I have many, many fond childhood memories of the old Tottenville-Perth Amboy ferry from the early 60's, and I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to ride on this crossing a number of times with Mom, as a happy-go-lucky, transit-infatuated young lad........Very Happy

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On this day in 1962, a blaze at the SIRT's Clifton shops destroyed seven ME-1 cars.

This left the equipment-strapped SIRT with only 48 cars, which meant for quite a bit of equipment juggling during the rush hours.

Many rush-hour trains terminated at Great Kills; these trains would, after "changing ends" run express (no passengers) back to St. George for the next westbound rush-hour run.

Recall, too, that, after passenger service to South Beach and Arlington ended in 1953, the SIRT sold a number of then-surplus ME-1's to the NYCTA, where they were refurbished for use on the BMT.

When Your's Truly was still of a tender age, I can remember seeing the gutted hulks of the burned-out cars at Clifton, from the window of a passing SIRT train.

I still remember what a mournful site that was, even after 60 years.

There were several plans to send a group of surplus BMT "Standards" over to the SIRT, but, sadly nothing came of this......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this bygone SIRT scene at Clifton, we see a Tottenville-bound train of venerable ME-1's.

Note, also, the interlocking tower built into the St. George-bound station hose.

Until it was abandoned in 1953, this interlocking controlled the junction with the South Beach line.

This tower sat boarded up for decades before it was finally demolished......

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?115343

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IN this view at St. George, we see a lone ME-1 clattering through the switches the St. George terminal (more than likely, this was a South Beach train)

In the right background, you can see a ferryboat docked in one of the east layup slips, as well as the slips for the 39th St. Ferry.

The old ferry terminal building, destroyed by fire in 1946, can be seen in the left background.

Also, note the steam-hauled train in the terminal; this might have been a (WW2) troop train movement to the deepwater piers at Stapleton or Clifton.......

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?115369

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)
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