NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT

EARLY STREET RAILWAY COMPANIES - MANHATTAN

Most of these street railway companies eventually became part of a larger streetcar company.


NEW YORK RAILWAYS

The first step in the consolidation of the street railway companies of Manhattan began in 1892, when the Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co. began leasing various other street railway companies.

In 1893, the Metropolitan Street Railway was incorporated, and acquired the Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co. and several other companies. And the Metropolitan Street Railway subsequently acquired or leased most of the other street railways in Manhattan. The Metropolitan Street Railway also assumed the leases which had been held by the Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co. In the previous year, the Metropolitan Traction Co. of New York was incorporated as a holding company for the Metropolitan Street Railway. But that holding company was disolved in 1897.

In 1901, the Interurban Street Railway was incorporated, and in 1902 began leasing the Metropolitan Street Railway. In 1904, the Interurban Street Railway was renamed the New York City Railway. And in 1908, the Metropolitan Street Railway became independent again.

In 1911, New York Railways was incorporated to acquire the Metropolitan Street Railway.

The following street railway companies were part of New York Railways.

Bleeker Street & Fulton Ferry Railroad - chartered 1864, leased 1876 to Twenty-Third Street Railway, leased 1893 to Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co. Operated on West 14th Street.

Broadway Surface Railroad Co. - chartered 1884, opened 1885, acquired 1889 by Broadway Railroad Co., acquired 1893 by Metropolitan Street Railway. Operated on Broadway south of 15th Street.

Broadway & Seventh Avenue Railroad Co. - chartered 1864, leased 1893 to Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co.

Central Crosstown Railroad Co. - chartered 1873, opened 1875, leased 1897 to Metropolitan Street Railway. Operated mostly on Avenue C.

Central Park North & East River Railroad Co. - chartered 1860, opened 1863, leased 1892 to Metropolitan Crosstown Railway, leased 1893 to 1908 to Metropolitan Street Railway, reorganized 1912 to Belt Line Railway Corp. and acquired by Third Avenue Railway Co.

Christopher & Tenth Street Railroad - chartered 1873, leased 1890 to Central Crosstown Railroad Co., leased 1897 to Metropolitan Street Railway.

Columbus & Ninth Avenue Railroad - chartered 1892, leased 1893 to Metropolitan Street Railway, opened 1894, acquired 1895 by Metropolitan Street Railway. Operated mostly on Columbus Avenue.

Eighth Avenue Railroad - chartered 1855, leased 1893 to 1911 to Metropolitan Street Railway, leased 1911 to 1919 to New York Railways, in 1926 merged into Eighth & Ninth Avenues Railway Co.

Fort George & Eleventh Avenue Railroad - incorporated 1898 to acquire Fort George & Eleventh Avenue Railroad and Fort George Extension Railway and North End Street Railway, leased 1898 to Metropolitan Street Railway. Operated on 145th Street.

Forty-Second Street & Grand Street Ferry Railroad - chartered 1862, leased 1892 to Metropolitan Crosstown Railway, leased 1893 to Metropolitan Street Railway. Operated mostly on Avenue A.

Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co. - chartered 1874, acquired 1893 by Metropolitan Street Railway.

Lexington Avenue & Pavonia Ferry Railroad - acquired 1894 by Metropolitan Street Railway.

Metropolitan Crosstown Railway - chartered 1889, opened 1891, acquired 1894 by Metropolitan Street Railway. Operated on Delancey Street.

New York & Harlem Railroad - chartered 1831, steam railroad portion leased 1873 by New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, street railway portion leased 1896 to 1911 to Metropolitan Street Railway, leased 1911 to 1920 to New York Railways, acquired 1932 by New York Railways. Operated on Madison Avenue and on Park Avenue/Fourth Avenue.

Ninth Avenue Railroad - chartered 1859, leased 1892 to Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co., leased 1893 to 1911 to Metropolitan Street Railway, leased 1911 to 1919 to New York Railways, in 1926 merged into Eighth & Ninth Avenues Railway Co.

North & East River Railway - chartered 1885, opened 1890, acquired 1895 by Fulton Street Railroad, leased 1895 to Metropolitan Street Railway, service suspended 1908.

Second Avenue Railroad - chartered 1853, opened 1854, leased 1898 to 1908 to Metropolitan Street Railway.

Sixth Avenue Railroad - chartered 1851, leased 1892 to Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co.

South Ferry Railroad Co. - chartered 1874, acquired 1893 by Metropolitan Street Railway.

Thirty-Fourth Street Railroad - chartered 1884, opened 1885, leased 1893 to Metropolitan Street Railway, merged 1896 with Thirty-Fourth Street Ferry & Eleventh Avenue forming Thirty-Fourth Street & Crosstown Railroad.

Twenty-Third Street Railway - chartered 1872, leased 1893 to Houston West Street & Pavonia Ferry Railroad Co.

Twenty-Eighth & Twenty-Ninth Crosstown Railway - chartered 1884 as Twenty-Eighth & Twenty-Ninth Street Railway, acquired 1896 by Twenty-Eighth & Twenty-Ninth Crosstown Railway, leased 1896 to 1908 to Metropolitan Street Railway.

In 1925, New York Railways was acquired as a subsidiary of the Fifth Avenue Coach Co., which was already operating buses in Manhattan. At the same time, the Fifth Avenue Coach Co. formed another subsidary, the New York City Omnibus Co., for the purpose of operating bus routes which would replace the streetcar routes. And in 1936, the last streetcars were replaced with buses.

Additional subsidiaries of Fifth Avenue Coach Co. were the Madison Avenue Coach Co., and the Eighth Avenue Coach Co. Those companies were formed to replace the streetcars operated by the New York & Harlem Railroad, and the Eighth & Ninth Avenues Railway Co., respectively.

An independent bus company, the East Side Omnibus Co., replaced the Second Avenue Railroad streetcars in 1933.


THIRD AVENUE RAILWAY CO.

The Third Avenue Railway Co. was the second largest street railway system in Manhattan. Originally constructed as the Third Avenue Railroad, that company subsequently expanded into the Bronx and Westchester County by acquiring street railways in those areas.

The Third Avenue Railway Co. was incorporated in 1910, acquiring the Third Avenue Railroad. The following street railway companies evolved into the Third Avenue Railroad within Manhattan.

Third Avenue Railroad - chartered 1853, opened 1858, leased 1898 to 1907 to Metropolitan Street Railway, acquired 1910 by Third Avenue Railway Co.

Forty-Second Street Manhattanville & St. Nicholas Avenue Railroad - chartered 1878, opened 1884, acquired 1895 by Third Avenue Railroad.

Belt Line Railway Corp. - reorganized 1912 from Central Park North & East River Railroad Co. acquired 1912 by Third Avenue Railway Co.

Dry Dock East Broadway & Battery Railroad - chartered 1863, leased 1897 to Third Avenue Railroad.

In 1924, the Third Avenue Railway Co. formed a subsidiary, Surface Transportation Corp., to operate the bus routes which would replace the streetcar routes. And in 1947, the last streetcars were replaced with buses.

After the Dry Dock East Broadway & Battery Railroad failed in 1932, replacement bus routes were operated by the Avenue B & East Broadway Transit Co.


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