|Mount Loretto Spur|
|Owner||Staten Island Railway|
|Locale||Coordinates: Staten Island, New York, USA|
Mount Loretto Children's Home
|System||Staten Island Railway|
|Services||Mount Loretto Excursion Trains/Freight Trains|
|Operator(s)||Staten Island Railway|
|Number of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Mount Loretto Spur is an abandoned branch of the Staten Island Railway whose purpose was to serve the Mount Loretto Children's Home. The spur diverged off of the Main Line south of Pleasant Plains.
The Mount Loretto Spur diverged off of the Main Line south of Pleasant Plains. The branch was a little over a mile long and had a 2% grade. The right-of-way from the Amboy Road grade crossing to Mount Loretto was owned by the Archdiocese of New York, and was not open to the public. Mount Loretto paid for any necessary track maintenance, which was provided by the SIRT. The stop was called the Mission station and was located near Cunningham Road.
The spur was built in 1891 to serve the Mount Loretto Children's Home, and was used to transport excursionists and to provide freight. The line was originally built to bring construction materials for large buildings at Mount Loretto and its powerhouse in the 1890s. Every third Sunday, the SIRT operated a special train from St. George to Mount Loretto for relatives and visitors. The Archdiocese paid for the trips. This direct service ended in 1939 and chartered buses were used afterwards.:110 The trains consisted of three steel cars and a steam locomotive as the line was never electrified.:15
The spur received regular freight shipments until the late 1950s, and was abandoned in the early 1960, with the tracks removed soon after. Some ties were still visible until the 1980s. While the spur's junction was removed, the pilings that carried the tracks still exist. Parts of the right-of-way are now a hiking trail. At Mount Loretto, which was destroyed by a fire in December 1973, all that remains is a coal dump trestle.:15:110